The state public works department (PWD) has started work on widening the Sion-Panvel highway which will offer seamless travel to commuters driving down to Mumbai from Pune and Navi Mumbai. The Rs1,220-crore project will see the 23.09 km stretch widened to 10 lanes from Kalamboli to BARC junction. Several flyovers will also be constructed and widened as part of the project which is expected to be completed by May 2014.
The highway which connects Mumbai to cities such as Pune and some southern states is used by 1.6 lakh vehicles every day. Around 14.4 km of the existing road has six lanes while the remaining has eight.
“The developed road will meet the standards of the expressway, but will not have access-control measures as it has built-up areas besides it,” said a PWD officer. Another officer said the widened road will allow commuters a signal-free drive up to BARC junction.
“The bottleneck at Uran Khind will be widened and the gradient of the road will be reduced to allow a smoother commute,” he said.
The project, which will see the construction of a cement-concrete road, is being undertaken by Sion Panvel Tollways Pvt Ltd on a build operate transfer basis.
Three new flyovers will be constructed at Sanpada, Uran and Kamothe apart from the duplication of the CMLR and Taloja flyovers. The flyovers at Turbhe and Mankhurd will be widened and 10 pedestrian foot-over bridges and 17 pedestrian underpasses will be constructed.
Work on Turbhe and Mankhurd flyovers is expected to be completed in a year. The toll plaza will be set up at Kamothe and will have a separate lane at both sides for vehicles exempted from paying toll.