The length of the national highways was 4,193 kilometres in 2014 in AP. It has now crossed the 8,000-km mark, translating to an almost 100% increase in the last eight years. While the length of the ongoing projects is about 1,050 km, the sanctions have been pegged at about 10,300 crore.
Meanwhile, the detailed project report for the proposed Visakhapatnam-Bhogapuram beachfront road is likely to be completed by March 2023.
If taken up, this coastal highway corridor will serve as an alternative for the national highway passing through Vizag, particularly to those heading to Bhogapuram airport in the future.
Several major road projects are currently being developed in AP, including the Visakhapatnam-Raipur economic corridor, the nearly 50-km six-lane Anandapuram-Anakapalli highway, upgradation of connectivity to Kakinada anchorage port, six-laning of NH-71 from Renigunta to Naidupeta, Bellary-Krishnapatnam port, etc.
A highway from Rajahmundry to Vizianagaram through tribal tracts of combined East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, and Vizianagaram districts is also among the ongoing projects. The green national highways corridor project, which has been taken up with the loan assistance of World Bank, traverses through the Eastern Ghats and connects important Agency areas like Rampochodavaram, Koyyuru, Paderu, Araku, Bhalluguda, Bowdara, etc.
According to officials, many locations along this stretch require geometric improvements to maintain the riding quality and hindrance-free movement. All the geometrically deficient curves are proposed for the realignment and curve improvements as part of the project.
The National Highway Authority of India recently floated tenders to develop the Bengaluru-Vijayawada expressway project with about 13,000 crore. The highway is expected to cut the travel time by half – from the existing 12-14 hours to about six hours.
Construction works on the AP part of Visakhapatnam-Raipur economic corridor, which traverses through Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and AP, have alone been taken up at a cost of 3,778 crore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for this project during his recent visit to Visakhapatnam in November.
The existing travel time from Raipur-Visakhapatnam is about 14 hours via Dhamtari, Jagdalpur, Jeypore, Koraput, Sunabeda, Salur and Vizianagaram with an average riding speed of 40 kilometres per hour. The proposed alignment of this corridor, with design speed of 100 kmph, will reduce the travel time to seven hours. The smooth and signal-free alignment of the project will efficiently improve the vehicle operation cost, including fuel, drivers, maintenance etc.