Light rail construction expected to block Jerusalem entrance for years

Experts warn congested Israeli traffic will eventually catch up to the new construction.

June 12, 2019 04:45
Light rail construction expected to block Jerusalem entrance for years

An Arab-Israeli woman rides a light rail tram in Jerusalem November 6, 2014. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)


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The entrance to the capital from Route 1 will be blocked to private cars beginning on July 14 for construction work expected to last until 2022, Channel 10 reported on Tuesday.

The building of the financial quarter infrastructure improvements include a second light rail line, and an upgrade to the entrance to the city including a tunnel under Shazar Boulevard. Those entering the capital will need to use either public transportation or detours on alternative routes.

An OECD report revealed in March that on average, Israel has 2,800 cars per kilometer of road while OECD countries on average have only 800, Globes reported.

The growing population in Israel means that more cars are placed on the roads every year, and new light rail services being built cannot catch up to the number of cars being added.

In 2017 alone, 150,000 new cars were added to the roads, meaning the opening of the first light rail line in Tel Aviv, scheduled for October 2022, will only be a small step toward ending the chronic traffic congestion in central Israel.

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