Afcons, the construction company involved in the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway project is expecting to complete the longest tunnel coming up on Samruddhi Mahamarg' at Igatpuri in Nashik by September-end.
This is made possible due with a third critical 'breakthrough' achieved this week.
"This breakthrough makes the north portal connectivity to the south portal direct and seamless through the right hand side tunnel. We plan to achieve the final breakthrough by September-end and complete both the tubes," said Afcons Project Manager Sekhar Das.
This tunnel is part of the 13.10 kms long Package 14 handled by Afcons for the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), reports Mid day.
Out of the 6 tunnels to be constructed en-route the expressway, the 7.7-km twin tunnels between Kasara Ghat and Igatpuri will be the longest highway tunnel in Maharashtra.
The new expressway in Maharashtra begins in a small village, Shivmadka in Hingna tehsil located at a distance of 23 km away from Nagpur. It currently serves as the outer bypass to the city.
The 701 km-long high-speed corridor designed for a top speed of 150 km per hour is being built at a total cost of around Rs 55,000 crore.
The corridor passes through several scenic landscapes - three wildlife sanctuaries as well as 35 wildlife focus areas - as well as a 310-metre long high bridge crossing over river Wardha.
To protect the wildlife, special measures like undercrossing, overpasses, high box culverts are being developed to facilitate the movement of animals to avoid roadkill.
At several locations, contractors have had to cut through hillocks, since a large part of the highway passes through hilly terrain.
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