After a record construction time of just 23 months, the Agra-Lucknow Expressway – said to be the country’s longest greenfield expressway – is all set to open on December 23. The Expressway, which is Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav’s pet project, was inaugurated last week amidst much fanfare. The inauguration was also special because it saw six fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) touch down and take off again. This was a first for an expressway inauguration in the country. The decision to open the expressway on December 23 was reportedly taken at a meeting presided over by Akhilesh Yadav on Monday. Yadav is believed to have told officials to ensure police presence to deter commuters from breaching the maximum speed limit.
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!
The Agra-Lucknow Expressway will have automatic traffic management systems aimed at reducing road accidents and helping even at the time of fog. 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. The expressway includes 4 rail over bridges, 13 major bridges, 57 minor bridges, 74 vehicular underpasses, 148 pedestrian underpasses and 9 flyovers.
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).