Completion Deadline for Pune-Mumbai Expressway’s Missing Link Project Extended to May 2025

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Lonavala, 29th May 2024: The eagerly anticipated missing link project on the Yashwantrao Chavan Expressway, set to significantly reduce travel time between Mumbai and Pune by at least 6km, is now facing a revised completion deadline of May 2025.

Divided into two phases for simultaneous execution, the project’s Phase 1 entails the construction of eight lanes and two tunnels spanning 1.75km and 8.92km, respectively. Meanwhile, Phase 2 comprises eight lanes and two viaducts measuring 790m and 650m.

Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officials revealed that Phase 1’s tunnelling work is 94% complete. However, the construction of the viaducts poses significant challenges, contributing to delays in the overall project timeline.

“We have achieved approximately 74% progress in the second phase,” stated MSRDC sources. The ambitious Rs 6,695 crore project aims to offer an alternative alignment based on the recommendations of a technical feasibility study, aiming to circumvent the ghat section known for landslides and heavy traffic congestion.

The construction of viaducts presents engineering challenges, including extreme wind pressure at a height of nearly 100 meters, alongside various clearances, which have impeded progress in Phase 2, according to the sources.

Regular commuters expressed concerns over the existing traffic congestion on the expressway, anticipating further delays due to the ongoing project.

The project has faced several setbacks, including delays in land acquisition, statutory approvals, and the intricate engineering involved in tunnel and cable-stayed viaduct construction.

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Upon completion, the project aims to reduce the current 19km journey from Khopoli to Sinhgad Institute near Lonavla by over 6km, thereby slashing travel time by at least 25 minutes compared to the current ghat section route. Furthermore, it is expected to alleviate congestion between the Adoshi tunnel and Khandala exit, where the expressway converges with NH-4.