Today in Transportation History – 2016: The Longest Expressway in India Opens

The Agra Lucknow Expressway made its official debut in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India less than two years after construction on this route had begun. The new highway was officially opened by Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

This six-lane expressway, which connects the cities of Agra and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, measures 188 miles (302 kilometers) in length. It holds the record for the longest expressway in India. This distinction previously belonged to the Yamuna Expressway, which links Greater Noida City (likewise in Uttar Pradesh) with Agra and measures approximately 103 miles (166 kilometers) in length.

The opening ceremony for the Agra Lucknow Expressway took place at the town of Unnao (located along the route about 31 miles, or 50 kilometers, west of Lucknow). The most unique part of the ceremony was the first-time use of jet aircraft to help inaugurate a highway in India. A total of six Indian Air Force jets skimmed that stretch of the Agra Lucknow Expressway in simulated landings. One of the jets had to overshoot its planned touch-down spot after a dog strayed onto that section of the expressway; the jet made a successfully simulated landing there in its second attempt at the end of the flight demonstration.

For more information about the Agra Lucknow Expressway, please check out a 21 November 2016 Financial Times article on the highway at http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/agra-lucknow-expressway-india-longest-greenfield-highway-10-facts-features-highlights-akhilesh-yadav-up-government/451101/.

A video of the Indian Air Force jets participating in the opening ceremony for the Agra Lucknow Expressway can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_adlKVTkXI.

Information on all of the expressways in India is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expressways_in_India.

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