Maharashtra's longest road tunnel between Igatpuri and Kasara is nearing completion.
It is built as part of the Nagpur Mumbai Super Communication Expressway (NMSCE), also known as Samruddhi Mahamarg.
For traffic travelling to and from Nagpur and Mumbai, the tunnel is divided into two tubes, each with three lanes.
Afcons is the construction company involved in the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway project.
The 7.7-km tunnel is the country's fourth-longest tunnel. Its breadth of 18 metres makes it the widest tunnel in India.
This tunnel is been built with over 23,000 tonnes of cement and over 400 tonnes of steel.
The tunnel will enable commuters to cross the Kasara ghat section in around 7-8 minutes without having to negotiate the over 15 hairpin curves that the present national highway has in that stretch, reports Economic Times.
The 701 km-long high-speed corridor is designed for a top speed of 150 km per hour, and is being built at a cost of around Rs 55,000 crore.
This greenfield project was first announced in 2015 and land acquisition began in July 2017.
Its foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2018, and construction work started in January 2019 for 16 civil packages.
The new expressway in Maharashtra begins in a small village, Shivmadka in Hingna tehsil, located at a distance of 23 km from Nagpur. It currently serves as the outer bypass of the city.
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