New southwest entry road to Jerusalem to open next week

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 Jerusalem New Southwest Entry Road Opens Next Week

New Jerusalem Southwest Entrance will improve access to the capital from next week when Road 16, connecting Road 1 at Motze with Giv'at Shaul, and Begin Highway at Byt Street reopens for traffic. But critics have expressed concern that the city will not be able to cope with the additional traffic on already congested roads.

The six-kilometer road includes four tunnels, seven bridges and three interchanges. The speed limit on the road will be 80 kilometers per hour.
The road was built by order of the Ministry of Transportation by Netivei Israel – The National Transport Infrastructure Co. The project cost NIS 2.5 billion, including 20 years of maintenance.

The project was completed more than a year ahead of schedule. The highway will reduce travel time to Jerusalem's western and southern suburbs and is estimated to reduce congestion on existing highways leading to Jerusalem from the west.

The construction of the new highway has been planned for many years, and its completion is contrary to the latest transport approach of the Jerusalem Municipality, which puts pedestrians and public transport as the top priority. However, Route 16 has no public transport lanes, few bus routes, and car use is encouraged.

Professor Galit Cohen Blankstein, head of the Federmann School of Public Policy at the Department of Geography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, predicts that while the new road may make it easier to get into the city, it will make it harder to get out of it, as well as create a lot of traffic and congestion .

“Netive Yisrael” – National Transport Infrastructure Company – claims that the new road will facilitate traffic to Jerusalem and that in order to better develop public transport, it will consider expanding the public transport lane on road 1. The company says that when the tender for road 16 was published in 2015 , the possibility of building a public transport lane on the new road was not considered.

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