Tel Aviv express lane project takes a step forward as firms make bids

Following the Tel Aviv tender, the winning group also will have the first option to bid on the express lane into Jerusalem.

freeway ayalon 88 (photo credit:)
freeway ayalon 88
(photo credit: )
Three groups have submitted their bids on projects to build a highway express lane into Tel Aviv. "The express lane project at the Highway 1 entries of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is the first attempt of its kind in the country, which has as its goal to manage traffic flows and make them more efficient, as well as to [encourage] private car drivers to switch to buses," said highway management company Netivei Ayalon, which is running the tender for the Finance and Transportation Ministries. The Tahal ve-Kavim group includes Tahal (Israel Water Planning), Kavim, Kardan Real Estate, and Ashtrom, with Ituran, H.L. Tours (Horen & Leibovitz), Bauman Bar Rivanai and Spanish Telvent as sub-contractors. Netivei Derech Eretz brings together Africa-Israel, Danya Cebus, Housing and Counstruction, and Egged Holdings. The Shafir Netiv Mahir group includes Shafir Engineering, and Nahor (a subsidy of public transportation operator Dan), with Germany-based Siemens as a sub-contractor. As a BOT project, the express lane will be built and operated by the winning consortium for 30 years before being transferred into state hands. The initial Tel Aviv phase of the project includes the construction of an additional lane between Ben-Gurion Airport and the Ayalon Highway for the exclusive use of public transportation and vehicles with four or more occupants (such as car-pooling commuters), while other cars will be charged a fee for its use. The user fee, which will be posted alongside the road, will rise as traffic on the highway increases and jams form to ensure that traffic on the express lane can flow freely at all times. A park-and-ride lot will be built at the Shapirim interchange, from which a free shuttle will bring commuters into the city via the express lane. The shuttle will leave every five minutes - headed for the vicinity of the Kirya in Tel Aviv and the Bursa in Ramat Gan, with stops along the way - funded from the express lane's user fees. Following the Tel Aviv tender, the winning group also will have the first option to bid on the express lane into Jerusalem, which Netivei Ayalon said would save costs and allow for both projects to be run from a common facility. Once the bids submitted Wednesday are examined by Netivei Ayalon's express lane administration and the Transportation Ministry, the tender committee in the Accountant-General's office will choose the winning consortium. The group will then have eight months to assemble the necessary funding.