False alarm on traffic at entrance to J'lem

Work on Calatrava bridge postponed till Wednesday.

October 22, 2007 22:44
1 minute read.

If you read the Jerusalem Municipality's half-page advertisements in last weekend's Hebrew press announcing that the "mast" of the Calatrava bridge being constructed at the western entrance to the capital will be raised on Monday - and avoided going near there - you were misinformed. The city entrance and traffic were the same on Monday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. as they have been, as nothing special was being done. Now, the Moriah Company, which is building the massive suspension bridge for the light rail project, says it will be doing the lifting and attaching this Wednesday, during the same hours. "The company didn't receive final Israel Police permission to do it on Monday," said Moriah spokesman Yehoshua Mor-Yosef. When asked whether people would be angry over being misinformed and inconvenienced, he said: "There are surprises in life. Doesn't The Jerusalem Post ever have mix-ups?" As for the money the municipality paid out for all the advertisements, Mor-Yosef did not specify the cost but noted: "This is not the first ad. The city is eligible for lower rates because it places so many in the papers." Ads will apparently not be placed in the daily papers to inform readers about Wednesday's work, when only two lanes, one going north and one going south on Sderot Herzl, will be open to traffic. Mor-Yosef explained that unlike in the past, the work cannot be done at night, as the additional section will overhang Sderot Herzl, and safety requires that it be carried out in daylight. The remaining part of the steel mast, which is due, "by Hanukka," to reach 118 meters above the capital, will not be installed on Wednesday, but only a small section - the ninth of the 12 parts of the armature that will hold up the bridge via 70 steel "strings" attached to its length. The chronic delays, ripping up of already-laid tracks and the inefficient laying of the first light rail line from Mount Herzl to Pisgat Ze'ev over the past three years "aren't Moriah's business," Mor-Yosef said. "It is being done by the City Pass company and the municipality." So prepare for traffic jams on Wednesday at the entrance to the city... if they indeed occur.

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