The Missing Mumbai-Pune Link project has been resurrected; it would save commuters 25 minutes.
The work on the missing link on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway between Khalapur and Kusgaon — two tunnels, two viaducts, and a new eight-lane road – has picked up speed, with laborers returning after the lockdown was lifted. According to officials from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), more than 1.5 kilometers of tunnel boring work has already been completed.
The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is now a six-lane, 94-kilometer highway. Near the Khalapur Toll Plaza, the Expressway and National Highway 4 intersect, then split near the Khandala exit. The 7.2-kilometer stretch between the Adoshi Tunnel to the Khandala exit is a six-lane road, yet the traffic equivalent of a 10-lane road travels through it. The existing segment is 19 kilometers long, stretching from Khopoli exit to Sinhgad Institute. After the missing connection is built, it will be reduced to 6 km, reducing travel time by 20 to 25 minutes.
The 13-kilometer bypass, which would cost Rs 4,794 crore, will segregate traffic on the Expressway from that on the old Pune-Mumbai highway, which currently shares the 10-kilometer Lonavla-Khandala Ghat portion and faces frequent traffic jams. It will set you back Rs 2,670 crore. For Rs 1,492 crore, Afcons Infrastructure would construct a three-kilometer cable-stayed six-lane viaduct.
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The country’s first multi-lane, the access-controlled highway will be upgraded soon, cutting travel time by 25 minutes from the present period of two and a half hours to complete the 95-kilometer route.
The six-lane Mumbai-Pune expressway, which opened nearly two decades ago, will be completely bypassed by a major tunnel and bridge portion currently under construction. The complete bypass, dubbed the ‘Missing Link,’ was supposed to be finished by mid-2023, but the epidemic put the timeline back by nearly six months.
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The speed of construction has sped up, and the project should be back on track, which is certainly fantastic news. “There have been COVID delays of about six months,” Maharashtra’s Urban Development and Public Works minister Eknath Shinde said at the recently held Autocar India Mercedes Benz Classic Car Rally. In spite of this, the pace of work is picking up, and projects such as the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway and the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link will be completed in time.
The “Lacking Hyperlink” project on the Mumbai-Pune highway is estimated to cost around Rs 2,000 crore and will include two tunnels, two viaducts, four bridges, and some additional culverts. It is expected to run between Khopoli and Kusgaon, passing through two districts, two talukas, and eight villages. Along with bypassing the Ghat and reducing travel time, it will save gasoline, reduce pollution, and reduce accidents along the length, all of which will help the expressway achieve its zero fatality goal.