Plan to widen Mumbai-Pune expressway hits roadblock | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Plan to widen Mumbai-Pune expressway hits roadblock

Just as tenders were to be issued for the expansion project, it has come to light that the plan is not technically feasible owing to a very steep upslope

mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2016 10:46 IST
Saurabh Katkurwar

The Maharashtra government’s plan to widen the Mumbai-Pune expressway plan is on a slippery slope.

At a time when the Rs7,000-crore project has reached near the stage of issuing tenders, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officials have realised that construction of a 12-km elevated link is not technically feasible.

According to sources, the planned elevated road, which is part of the link between Khalapur toll plaza and Sinhgad Institute, cannot be constructed on the expressway, as the latter is on high gradient (upslope).

The segment is a crucial part of the plan, as it is supposed to reduce the rush on the most congested stretch of the expressway, from the toll plaza to the Khandala exit.

The MSRDC officials are now looking for alternatives, failing to find which could raise questions on the project’s future.

The eight-lane elevated road is supposed to start soon after the toll plaza and continue in the upward direction before joining the proposed tunnel in the Khandala Ghat section.

“We have found the gradient of the expressway after the toll plaza is 5, which makes construction of an elevated road technically impossible. Had it been between 2 and 4, the MSRDC could have managed the work. The consultant has been asked to find an alternative,” said a source.

Last year, the MSRDC came up with a plan to provide 14 lanes between Mumbai and Pune, in which it planned to widen the entire expressway and the old highway, except the 12-km stretch between the toll plaza and Sinhgad Institute, by adding two lanes on each side.

Currently, the expressway has six lanes, while the old highway is a four-lane road.

According to the plan, the missing stretch is supposed to have an additional eight lanes — two elevated roads and two tunnels — in addition to the six lane expressway stretch. It will reduce the distance between these two points from 18km to 12km.

The consultant is mulling widening the existing stretch, wherever the elevated road is not possible.

However, sources said it is a challenging job, which may not get approval from the MSRDC.

Maharashtra government’s Mumbai- Pune expressway widening plan is in the jeopardy, thanks to lack of proper planning.

When the Rs7,000 crore project has reached close to the tendering stage, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officials have found that construction of one of the segments of the plan is not technically feasible. 

According to sources, the planned elevated road, which is a part of the 12-km missing link between Khalapur toll plaza and Sinhgad Institute- cannot be constructed on the expressway due to the latter’s high gradient (upslope). 

Now, MSRDC officials have started looking for alternatives, failing to which can raise questions on the project’s future. This segment is the crucial part of the plan as it is supposed to reduce congestion on the most congested stretch of the expressway- toll plaza to Khandala exit. 

 The six-lane elevated road is supposed to start soon after the toll plaza and continue in the upward direction before joining the proposed tunnel in Khandala ghat section. 

 “We have found that the gradient of the expressway after the toll plaza is 5, which makes construction of an elevated road on it technically impossible. Had it been between 2 to 4, MSRDC could have managed construction somehow. Now, the consultant has been asked to find alternative,” said a source.  

Last year, MSRDC had come up with the plan to provide 14-lanes for traffic between Mumbai and Pune, in which it planned widening of entire expressway and the old highway- except the 12-km stretch between toll plaza and sinhgad-by adding two lanes in each highway. 

At present, expressway is six-lane while old highway is four-lane road. 

 As per the plan, the missing link stretch is supposed to have additional eight-lanes – two elevated roads and two tunnels- in addition to six lane expressway stretch. It will reduce distance between these two points from existing 18-km to 12-km. 

 Now, the consultant is mulling option of widening the existing stretch wherever elevated road is not possible. However, sources informed it is challenging job, which may not get approval from MSRDC.