Traffic congestion has begun to form during the days
throughout the area of the entrance to Jerusalem, especially
between the end of Rechov Yaffo and the beginning of Sderot
Herzl and the turn to Binyanei Ha'Uma, as construction gets
underway on the dramatic suspension bridge for the light-rail
According to light-rail project manager Shmuel Tzabari, major
traffic congestion can be expected to continue for the next
two years until the bridge is complete. Traffic disruptions
are certain to affect the city's other points of entry as
well. Moriah, the construction company for the development of
Jerusalem, is beginning to lay the foundations and build the
ends of the bridge.
Municipality Deputy Director Mr. Yaakov Avishar said that due
to the commencement of work and the new traffic patterns,
changes have been implemented at the entrance to the city via
Highway 1 and the surrounding junctions. The lanes designated
for public transportation vehicles on Sderot Herzl from the
entrance to the city to Rechov Ben David will be eliminated.
The number of lanes for public transportation vehicles on
Rechov Yaffo near the Central Bus Station will also be
The City recommends drivers travel to and from Jerusalem on
Hwy. 443 (Kvish Modi'in-Yerushalayim), which can be accessed
via two routes: Hwy. 9-Atarot and Givat Zeev. Drivers can
also enter Jerusalem via Mevaseret-Hadassah or by turning off
Hwy. 1 at Sakharov Gardens and traveling through Givat Shaul.
More congestion than usual can be expected along all of the
Inside the city, drivers should try to steer clear of the
construction area whenever possible by using Begin Highway,
Sderot Rupin and Sderot Rabin instead.
Construction work is also underway at the new point of entry
to the city, from Hwy. 1 in the Motza area to the road
leading to Ramot. This project will also take at least two
years to reach completion.
Local residents will be seriously inconvenienced. Shmuel
Tzabari says every effort was made to minimize the
disruption, particularly during the excavation phase and the
laying of the foundations and the ends of the bridge, which
is scheduled to take six months. Tzabari notes the project
was approved in all of the planning and construction
committees and its construction is being carried out in
accordance with the strict Ministry of the Environment
Area residents battled against the construction of the
bridge, which will pass near the mid-level windows of
adjacent high-rise buildings, but their various opposition
activities were overridden.
Before excavation work begins, portable acoustic walls are
being set up to reduce the noise emitted. Twenty-foot-tall
noise screens are also being installed around the boundary of
the work site. If necessary further measures will be taken in
accordance with Environmental Ministry directives in order to
protect certain apartments from noise pollution.
Students going to the nearby School for the Blind will be
directly affected by the construction site. The municipality
says guided exercises will be conducted to help blind and
visually impaired students grow accustomed to the
Project managers promise the end results will be beautiful.
The spectacular (perhaps overdone) bridge, known as the
Bridge of the Strings, will include a pedestrian walkway made
of steel and glass forming a complete seal. Beneath the
bridge and throughout the area of the junction a city square
will be built with special flooring, landscaping, large
trees, benches and attractive lighting.
Until its completions Jerusalem residents and visitors will
have to exercise great patience.