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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

910-Meter Tunnel to Link Rishikesh-Badrinath and Rudraprayag-Gaurikund Highways Nearing Completion

Construction of a 910-Meter Long Tunnel to Connect Rishikesh-Badrinath and Rudraprayag-Gaurikund Highways Set to Pass Milestone During Diwali Celebrations.

The executing agency is making rapid progress on both ends of the tunnel construction, which will join the Rishikesh-Badrinath and Rudraprayag-Gaurikund highways. In addition, an amendment for the construction of a 200-meter-long bridge over the Alaknanda River to connect the tunnel to both highways has reached its final phase. The project aims to be completed by June 2025. This ambitious tunnel is being constructed as part of the second phase of the Alavedar Road Project.

Last year, on December 3rd, the executing agency initiated the construction work with a groundbreaking ceremony. So far, 850 meters of the 910-meter tunnel have been excavated. Once completed, the tunnel will establish a direct connection between the Gaurikund Highway and the Badrinath Highway, providing relief from traffic congestion during pilgrimages and other times between Kedarnath Trijunction and the Belani Bridge.

Notably, the construction of the tunnel and bridge will directly link the villages of Tallanagapur, Dhanpur, and Ranighad Patti in the Augustyamuni block to the Gaurikund-Rudraprayag highway. Furthermore, it will facilitate easy access for the residents of Jakholi block, including those from Bhadradar, to the district headquarters, the development building, and the CMO office in Kedarghati. This tunnel will also play a significant role in promoting tourism.

The proposal for the tunnel’s construction was prepared by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in the 2008-09 fiscal year to address traffic jams and ensure safe transportation in the Rudraprayag district headquarters. In 2016, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways approved the project, and the survey was conducted in three phases. In 2019, the Government of India granted approval for the construction of the tunnel. It was subsequently included in the second phase of the Alavedar Road Project. An essential budget of 156 crores was allocated for the tunnel and bridge construction after fulfilling necessary formalities.

The construction of the tunnel and bridge will reduce the pressure on the Belani Bridge, which connects Kedarghati and Kedarnath. Currently, this bridge is used for the Kedarnath pilgrimage, but it is in a deteriorated state, causing traffic disruptions. NHAI has undertaken its maintenance, and its capacity will be increased in the future.

The 910-meter-long tunnel is set to be completed during Diwali celebrations, with 850 meters of excavation already completed on both ends. Simultaneously, the excavation for the Alaknanda River bridge construction is in its final phase. The target completion date for the bridge is June 2025.

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