MSRDC's Underpass On Mumbai-Pune Expressway Sparks Speculation Among Commuters Over Missing Link Project Delay

MSRDC's Underpass On Mumbai-Pune Expressway Sparks Speculation Among Commuters Over Missing Link Project Delay

Presently, the length of existing Mumbai Pune Expressway section from Khopoli exit to Sinhgad Institute is 19 kms.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 05:33 PM IST
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MPEW Missing Link | HP

While commuters were confused and shocked with the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation’s (MSRDC) decision to change the Khopoli exit while going to Mumbai from Pune, they were in for another surprise when the vehicles have to pass through a small tunnel-like structure after Khopoli exit.

People are wondering whether MSRDC has started some part of its ambitious missing link project that will reduce the commuting time between Mumbai and Pune by around 25 minutes. However, MSRDC officials have denied any such move and said that the work of Missing Link project is still under construction and it will take another 7-8 months before the entire stretch will commence for vehicular traffic.

“Currently, the small underpass on the main road after Khopoli exit has been started which prompted some commuters to wonder whether we have started one side of the Missing Link. It is not the case, the work on the project is in progress and what remains is the important work to construct the bridge. We are hoping to make the project operational by December, 2024,” a senior MSRDC official said not wishing to be named. When asked if the underpass is part of the Missing Link project, the official replied in the affirmative.

Safety On Mumbai-Pune Expressway And NH-4 Junction

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is presently of 6-lane cement concrete pavement with 2.5m wide paved shoulder on both sides having a length of 94 kms. National Highway No. 4 from Shil Phata to Dehu Road is a 4-lane bituminous pavement with a length of 111 kms.

Mumbai-Pune Expressway and NH-4 meet near Khalapur Toll Plaza and separate near Khandala exit. The section from Adoshi Tunnel to Khandala exit is a 6-lane road but the traffic of 10-lane road (6-lane of Mumbai-Pune Expressway and 4-lane of NH-4) is plying in this section. As a result, heavy amount of traffic and landslides causes congestion in this stretch. Due to decrease in speed and increase in time of travel in this section and in order to save time, vehicles move at a faster speed on rest of the expressway which has resulted in increase in number of accidents.

Accordingly, M/s. RITES carried out feasibility studies for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and suggested an alternate route for this Ghat section. MSRDC appointed a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) in order to review the detailed project report submitted by the consultant. As per suggestions of the TAC, alignment of the Missing Link along with Detailed Project Report was approved.

Mumbai-Pune Expressway's Missing Link Set To Reduce Distance and Travel Time

Presently, the length of existing Mumbai Pune Expressway section from Khopoli exit to Sinhgad Institute is 19 kms. This distance will be reduced to 13.3 kms after construction of this new Missing Link. So, the total length of Expressway from Mumbai to Pune will be decreased by 6kms and travel time will get reduced by 20-25 mins.

Earlier, MSRDC had said that the construction of viaduct along the link is very challenging due to various reasons such as high wind pressure etc. The work is on in full swing and we hope to complete it by September, 2024. Now, the target date has been extended till December, 2024. The total cost of the project is pegged at Rs 6695.37 Crore.

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