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20-km road widening completed between Kundapur and Surathkal

Raviprasad Kamila
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NHAI has taken it under phase III of the National Highways Development Project

In progress:Four-lane highway development work under progress near Kundapur on NH 66.— photo: RAVIPRASAD KAMILA.
In progress:Four-lane highway development work under progress near Kundapur on NH 66.— photo: RAVIPRASAD KAMILA.

Men and machines engaged in widening the National Highway No. 66 (formerly NH 17) between Kundapur and Surathkal have delivered about 20 km of new road that facilitate smooth journey.

Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt. Ltd. (NUTPL) is widening the 90-km long Kundapur-Surathkal and Nanthoor Junction-Talapady stretches on the highway to accommodate movement of four-lane traffic at speeds ranging from 80 km to 100 km.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has taken up the widening under phase III of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP).

P.N. Gawasane, project director, NHAI, Mangalore, toldThe Hinduduring a tour of the project that Pangala bridge on the highway in Udupi district would be completely abandoned.

A new six-lane bridge on a new alignment was being built there. Works of other major bridges like Pavanje, Shambhavi, Mabukala, and Netravati were under progress at different stages. The project director said the right of way (total width of the highway including additional facilities) for 5-km stretch in Kundapur town and for 2-km stretch in Kota would be restricted to 45 metres according to the original plan of the project. In other stretches, the highway would have 60 metre right of way according to the original plan.

He said the total width of the highway would be lesser in two towns considering the thick density of properties there. Land for constructing bypass in the two towns in proper alignment was not available. Hence the NHAI was not building bypass in the towns. This had been decided in the original plan of the project and was not altered recently.

Mr. Gawasane made it clear that although the total width would be less for 7-km-long stretch, it would not change the road dimension for the traffic movement. It was because the width of the carriage way (tarred road on which vehicles ply) would be the same along the 90-km. stretch. The highway would have 8.75 metre wide carriage way (asphalt road) on either side.

The median width along 7-km stretch would be reduced to maintain uniformity in tar road width. Median would be five-metre wide in other locations.

He said the highway was being designed for maintaining 100 km per hour speed between Kundapur and Talapady and 80 kmph speed between Nanthoor Junction and Talapady.

In some locations, the level of the highway was being raised while in some locations it was being lowered by cutting hills. It was to maintain uniformity in design for speed.

For example, a hillock near Mukka was being cut and the new stretch of the highway was at the lower level than the old one.

If the stretch was widened to the level of existing highway without cutting the hillock the speed of vehicles would come down.

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