The MSRDC claims to have completed 40 per cent of the work on the ongoing missing link project on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, which is being carried out in two packages.
The first package includes tunnel-1 (1680 metres) and tunnel-2 (8870 metres), thus covering a total distance of 10.55 kms, apart from cross passage every 300 metres. The second package comprises two viaducts of 900 metres and 650 metres, including a cable-stayed bridge, covering a distance of 1.55 kms.
MSRDC is carrying out augmentation of Mumbai-Pune expressway from Khalapur toll plaza till Khopoli exit in the Bhor ghat section covering 5.86 kms, by widening the road from six to eight lanes.
The missing link tunnel stretch commences after the Khopoli exit. Also, an exit ramp over a 1.88 km stretch is being constructed at Kusgaon.
The length of the existing Mumbai Pune Expressway from Khopoli exit to Sinhgad Institute is presently 19 kms. This distance will be reduced to 13.3 kms after construction of the proposed missing link and the travel time will be reduced by 20-25 mins, claims MSRDC authorities.
An MSRDC official at Pune office said, “The package-1 length being 12.43 kms, as per the current status, the 2.5 km length of the Tunnel II passes below Lonavala Lake at the depth varying from 75m to 175m from the bottom of the lake. The proposed level of Viaduct I is about 30 to 35 meters above ground level and proposed level of Viaduct II is about 130 to 140 mtrs from the ground level. ”
The official further said, “In February 2019, MSRDC has appointed Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd for starting the missing link project’s package-I for an estimated cost of Rs 2,697.39 crore. Whereas, for package 2, MSRDC has appointed Afcons Infrastructure Ltd in March 2018 for an estimated amount of Rs. 1,491. 42 crore. ”
The official added, “While the deadline for completing the missing link project was March 2023, due to the delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the project work was affected. Hence, the deadline has been extended to March 2024. ”