No steep curves on 704-km Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway

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While designs for construction of south Asia’s longest proposed Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, between Mumbai and Nagpur, are almost ready, the 704-km corridor will be the first in India to have no steep curves or turns.

Only curves as long as 2.5 km and not shorter than 700 metres have been planned, in order to avoid fatal accidents, Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officials said.

An MSRDC official said, “Our designs are almost ready for the expressway, and we are going to have 150-kmph as design speed but the speed limit will be restricted at 120-kmph.”

The official added, “Considering the speed limit is much more than that of other expressways, we are also planning rest areas and restaurants every 50 km.”

The Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway is a completely new alignment, known as a greenfield project.

The official said, “We are constructing a totally new alignment, and it is possible now to have long curves or turns instead of steep curves to avoid accidents in near future due steep or short curves.”

“The MSRDC has said that designs are made such that turns or curves do not come in abruptly and are planned accordingly.”

The corporation has divided the civil construction of the expressway into 16 packages between Bhiwandi and Nagpur. Every single package will be conducted by different contractors. It has also offered up to five per cent discount to contractors.

The bidding process for the Rs 30,000-crore project is currently ongoing. The overall cost of expressway, keeping aside the civil construction, is Rs 46,000 crore. Financial bids for the construction will be opened next week.

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An MSRDC official said, “We are planning the width of medians up to 15-20 metres. In such a scenario, there is no scope of any vehicle ending on the other side because of the divider,” the MSRDC official said.

There will be no installation of safety nets or brifen wires on the dividers.Explaining the logic behind this, a MSRDC official, said, “The dividers of the corridor roughly is 20 metres width and divider is quite broad for any vehicles to not go other side and disturb the traffic from opposite direction. Also, brifen wires are being installed on Mumbai-Pune Expressway only because it’s median of only roughly 5 metres.”

The proposed Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway is expected to have six lanes with additional two lanes reserved for service roads. The entire expressway is expected to bring down time to 10 hours from the current travel time taken of upto 17-20 hours.