Agra-Lucknow expressway is India’s longest expressway till date, and with its inauguration today, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav hopes to project to the state that his government’s focus is on development. The 302-km long six-lane greenfield expressway is special on multiple counts – from the record time under which it has been completed, to the fact that it will drastically reduce the travel time between the two UP cities. According to the UP government the expressway will help cut down the time between Agra and Lucknow to just 3.5 hours, from the current 7 hours. Moreover, the expressway is expected the reduce the road travel time between Delhi and Lucknow to anywhere between 5 to 6 hours!
Six fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) touched down on a stretch of the expressway today. Three Mirage 2000s and three Sukhois skimmed the highway in simulated landings. This is the first time that IAF jets took part in the inauguration of an expressway, but the move makes sense because of the central government’s plan to increasingly use highways as landing and take-off strips. Last year, an IAF Mirage 2000 had landed on the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh. According to the UP government, a 2 km dedicated stretch has been built on the expressway for jets to land and take-off in times of “war-like emergencies”.
India’s longest expressway is without a doubt one of the most major infrastructure projects in the country. We take a look at 10 facts that you would love to know about it:
1) The Agra-Lucknow Expressway has a design speed of up to 120 kms per hour. The Agra-Lucknow Expressway will have automatic traffic management systems aimed at reducing road accidents and helping even at the time of fog.
2) The six-lane expressway is expandable to 8-lanes. Reports suggest that the bridges and underpasses have been made 8-lane to avoid traffic congestion and bottlenecks once the expressway is expanded to 8-lane. The expressway has an 8-lane bridge across the river Ganga. This will connect Kanpur and Unnao.
3) The expressway includes 4 rail over bridges, 13 major bridges, 57 minor bridges, 74 vehicular underpasses, 148 pedestrian underpasses and 9 flyovers.
4) The entire Expressway is planned to be lined with metal beam crash barrier on both sides and wire fencing State-of-the-art Advance Traffic management System for safe & secure transit.
5) The Agra-Lucknow Expressway has been built in a record time of 23 months by the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA). The UP government chose different builders for different stretches of the highway. The estimated cost of construction of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway was Rs 15,000 crore, but the UP government claims that it was completed in Rs 13,200 crore.
6) The Agra-Lucknow Expressway boasts of development centres, agricultural mandis, schools, ITIs, rest houes, petrol pumps, service centres and public amenities among other prominent features.
7) The expressway spans 10 districts, 236 villages and 3500 hectares of land. It connects Agra and Lucknow via Shikohabad, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kannauj, Kanpur Nagar, Unnao and Hardoi. The expressway passes through 4 National Highways, 2 state highways, and 5 rivers (Ganga, Yamuna, Isan, Sai and Kalyani). The expressway will start at the village of Etmadpur Madra near Agra and will end at the village of Sarosa Bharosa near Mohan Road, Lucknow).
8) The Agra-Lucknow Expressway will be connected to the famous Yamuna Expressway via an Agra Ring Road. This will help provide the requisite connectivity to the national capital of Delhi and NCR areas like Noida.
9) According to the UP government, the objective of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway is to ensure development of nearby areas, provide a fast-moving corridor that allows seamless travel, reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles that travel between the two cities, help farmers to expand reach of their products to larger cities, and attract investors in the state.
10) According to (UPEIDA), a green belt is being developed on the sides of the Agra-Lucknow expressway by planting trees on either sides and plants in the median.