Under the JICA proposal, the proposed 18.5km stretch will include five tunnels. The project, to be built over six years, is expected to reduce the commuting time from three hours to less than half an hour. The proposed road will also improve connectivity to the New Mangalore Port.

The project is perceived to solve the recurring problem of unmotorable roads on the national highway between Bangalore and the port city of Mangalore. The current 30km road from Sakleshpur to Mangalore climbs over the Shirdi ghat section of the Western Ghats.

The government took the tunnel approach after it failed to receive environment clearances for converting the the ghat section into a four-lane highway.