Roads that connect cities and communities with expressways are to be widened

Roads connecting cities to state expressways will be upgraded through the State Road Fund (SRF) in the current fiscal year. A day after the meeting of the SRF Management Committee, which oversees the Rs 5,500 crore corpus, the Public Works Department (PWD) set out its priority areas.

While Rs. 3,000 crore from the approved corpus will be used for the maintenance of the existing road network and pre-approved road projects, the remaining Rs. 2,500 crore will be used for the widening and strengthening of the existing road network.

The PWD minister has directed officials to examine whether the roadworks in the state’s major cities and urban centers could be carried out in line with the Smart City Mission’s guidelines for building smart roads. “We will provide for underground lines and utility lines when planning new roads,” said chief engineer and department head AK Jain.

The department will also assign on-site engineers to revisit the entry and exit points of the expressways and check the width of the connecting roads leading to the city, town and village. The scope of repair work for such road sections will be adjusted accordingly, and the connecting roads will be widened in line with the volume of traffic.

At high-level meetings, the Expressways Industrial Development Authority has highlighted the low ridership it faces due to poor feeder routes from the high-speed corridors, which in some locations discourage vehicle owners from using the expressways.

“For example, the Talgram exit on the Lucknow-Agra expressway is currently not that wide. It joins Grand Trunk Road some distance away,” a senior official said. The focus is on improving infrastructure around expressways, as the state expects increased industrial, logistics and warehousing activity at such locations in the coming years.

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