Opening of first phase of Mumbai-Nagpur E-way postponed due to overpass damage
The 700-km-long expressway between Mumbai and Nagpur has a total of eight wildlife overpasses and 22 wildlife underpasses.
Mumbai: In the latest development on the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway project, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) on Monday informed that the inauguration of the 210 km stretch between Nagpur and Shelu Bazar has been postponed for now. The opening of the first phase of the expressway was slated for May 2.
Stating reasons for the delay, the MSRDC informed that the arch strips in one of the wildlife overpasses have been damaged, for which at least 45 days are required to fix the structure. The damage was reported due to an accident involving a crane on the construction site in which no injuries were reported.
The 700-km-long expressway between Mumbai and Nagpur has a total of eight wildlife overpasses and 22 wildlife underpasses. The expressway passes via Bor Tiger Reserve and several other environmentally sensitive zones. The accident took place 15-km from the starting point at Nagpur.
According to MSRDC officials, there are a total of 105 arch strips.
The officials explained that experts have taken a reviewed of the damage and a decision is being taken to remake and redesign the structure.
A MSRDC official said, “The rectification of the damage will now take around 45 days and is expected to be over by the end of June. Hence, we are now planning to open the first and second phases together by August. This essentially means the Nagpur to Shirdi stretch will open by August.”
The officials added that the target to open the entire stretch between Nagpur and Mumbai by December 2022, however, due to several delays including due to Covid-19, the entire stretch may be opened by mid-2023.
Eknath Shinde who is MSRDC chairman and urban development minister also conducted an aerial survey of the project last week.
The MSRDC has set the speed limit of 120-kmph for the access-controlled expressway which will bring travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur to 8-10 hours from the existing 16-18 hours.
As per the study, as many as 150,000 vehicles are expected to ply between Mumbai and Nashik daily using the Mumbai Nagpur Expressway by the end of 2025.
As per the average daily traffic study, the daily vehicle usage has been divided into more than 20 sections and the highest volume of traffic is anticipated is between Mumbai and Nashik.
Meanwhile, the entire stretch between Mumbai and Nagpur will have 26 toll booths and MSRDC has proposed a toll of ₹1,212 as one-way for light motor vehicles like cars and jeeps. The distance between Mumbai and Nagpur via the expressway is 701 km and toll will be charged on the basis of the km one wants to travel.