Agra-Lucknow Expressway: India’s longest greenfield expressway
The Agra-Lucknow expressway was inaugurated on November 21, 2016. The 302-km long six lane Greenfield Agra-Lucknow expressway is India’s longest expressway till date. The expressway will reduce travel time between Delhi-Lucknow to 5-6 hours and further cut down the travel time between Agra and Lucknow to just 3.5 hours from the current 7 hours.
The expressway has been built by the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) in a record time of 23 months. According to the UP government, the estimated expenditure for the project is Rs 13,200 crore. The expressway has development centres, agricultural mandis, schools, ITIs, rest houses, petrol pumps, service centres and public amenities etc.
The expressway covers 10 districts, 236 villages and 3500 hectares of land. The road connects Agra and Lucknow through Shikohabad, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kannauj, Kanpur Nagar, Unnao and Hardoi. It begins at the village of Etmadpur Madra near Agra and will end at the village of Sarosa Bharosa near Lucknow. It passes through four National Highways, two state highways and five rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Isan, Sai and Kalyani.
For the first time, IAF’s Jets took part in the inauguration of an expressway. Six fighter jets (Three Mirage 2000s and three Sukhois) made simulated landings on the expressway. A dedicated 2 Km stretch has been built on the expressway to facilitate landing and take-off of jets in times of war-like emergencies. The move has to be seen at the backdrop of Central government’s plan to use highways as landing and take-off strips during emergencies. Last year, an IAF Mirage 2000 was landed on the Yamuna Expressway.
The expressway has a design speed of up to 120km/h and has automatic traffic management systems for reducing road accidents. The six-lane expressway can be expanded to 8-lane. Already, the bridges and underpasses have been built as 8-lane roads to avoid traffic congestion once the expressway is expanded to 8-lane. In addition, a green belt is being developed on the sides of the Agra-Lucknow expressway to reduce carbon footprints.