Construction near Shazar Boulevard in Jerusalem..
(photo credit: UDI SHAHAM)
Starting on Saturday night and through March 15, Shazar Boulevard will be closed between Nordau and Shmuel Baruch streets, as part of work at the entrance to the capital.
The large-scale renovations are at the stage in which they directly impact streets, and major traffic changes – and traffic jams – are anticipated.
The construction, carried out by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation, was conducted over the past two years with almost no disturbance to the public, and two major tunnels were dug under the city entrance.
According to the plan, in four to five years, drivers arriving at the capital – and those leaving – will do so via a tunnel under Shazar Boulevard, between the Bridge of Strings and close to Agrippas Street.
On the surface, the new Green Line of the light rail will pass, along with a public transportation lane. This, next to Ha’uma train station and new office and commercial buildings and shopping centers that will be built in the area.
According to the plan, some 60,000 new workplaces will be added in this new business quarter.
The non-stop construction on Shazar represent a transition to four years of work in the area. During these 12 days, new traffic lights will be erected in the adjacent streets – that were widened to temporarily accommodate the traffic that normally uses the busy road.
Drivers should instead use Rabin Boulevard, Hanassi Hashishi Boulevard, Heichal Hamishpat Street, Herzl Boulevard and a new bridge that will later be used for the light rail, and now will be open to traffic. Directors of the constructions said that they are in touch with operators of Waze app, and will keep updating it on the road closures.
During the first part of the 12 days, construction will take place also at night – and might disturb residents of the adjacent neighborhoods, such as Mishkenot Hauma and Nahlaot.
Moriah Engineering Deputy CEO Yoel Even told The Jerusalem Post
that efforts were made to avoid having 24-hour construction, but after taking all factors in consideration, it was decided that this would minimize inconvenience to the public.
“We are going very deep with our heavy construction equipment,” he said. “Having to stop every day [in order to open the road for traffic] would make the constructions months’ long. We also could have worked only at night, but then it would have taken us weeks.
“That’s why we decided to make it ‘painful’ but quick,” he said.
Even said that Moriah is staying in touch with residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. They are updating them on the progress of the construction, and notifying them before large explosions take place.
Even stressed that they are doing as much as possible to minimize the harm to the broader public.
“We are doing the best we can to cause as little interruption to the public as we can,” he said. “You’ve seen that we were working in the past two years under the surface and almost no one noticed.
“Even this road closure – which is only for 12 days – is only for this specific area, to open the end of the tunnel, and only where it is necessary. We closing only what we need, and only where we need,” he said.