Expressway Evolution: MSRDC’s Vision for an Eight-Lane Pune-Mumbai Corridor

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is gearing up for a significant transformation of the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, as it seeks to convert the existing six-lane speed corridor into a more extensive eight-lane thoroughfare. To realize this ambitious project, MSRDC anticipates the acquisition of approximately 100 hectares of land, involving private players, the forest department, and other relevant agencies.

The proposal for the expressway’s expansion is set to be submitted to the state government next week, coinciding with the upcoming state budget in February. A senior official from MSRDC, overseeing the widening initiative, mentioned, “As the state budget is likely in February, the proposal will be submitted for funds allocation.”

The eight-lane project envisions the construction of eight new tunnels, adding to the complexity of the endeavor. The entire expansion is estimated to cost Rs5,000 crore and is slated to be executed in phases, with completion expected by 2026.

The land acquisition process will target 100 hectares, primarily for the construction of the eight tunnels. The estimated cost for land acquisition, focusing on tunnel construction, is projected to be around Rs800 crore. MSRDC is optimistic about the sanctioning of funds in two phases, covering both land acquisition and construction expenses.

Last year marked the commencement of the eight-laning work, beginning with the widening of a 6km stretch from Khalapur to Khopoli and 1.5 km near Talegaon toll plaza. The primary goal is to increase the number of toll booths at both locations, addressing the rising traffic concerns. Toll booths at Khalapur are expected to increase from 16 to 34, while Talegaon is set to see an increase from 16 to 28 booths. Officials anticipate these toll plazas to become operational by May.

Traffic congestion on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway remains a significant challenge, particularly during festive occasions and weekends. With a current traffic growth rate of 5% on a year-on-year basis, the eight-lane expansion aims to alleviate these concerns.

Commuters, emphasize the need for not just widening the road but also implementing effective diversions during traffic snarls. Suvarna Nimbalkar, an entrepreneur facilitating trips for women, suggests the incorporation of additional toll booths and a more efficient system for clearing vehicles during congested periods.

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