Work on the NIS 1 billion Carmel Tunnels project is proceeding faster than anticipated and one section is expected to be completed by the end of the year, several months ahead of schedule, reports Yediot Haifa. But in the meantime, in response to complaints by residents, the Ministry for Environmental Protection has ordered the builders to carry out no more than three explosions per day inside the tunnels. According to the report, the Carmelton company, which is responsible for planning and building the project, has announced that the section of the tunnels that lies between Haifa's Grand Canyon and the Checkpost intersection will be finished by the end of this year, several months ahead of schedule. Company managers said the expected early completion was pleasing as it would minimize inconvenience to residents and would keep costs down. But in the meantime the ministry has ordered the company to conduct no more than three explosions per day, and also to limit their strength. Following complaints by residents, the ministry measured the intensity and number of explosions during the month of May, and found four breaches of the limits. A ministry spokesman said the company had been warned not to exceed the noise limits, and said every breach would be examined. A company spokesman said the discussions with the ministry had been conducted in a "good and relevant atmosphere" and that both sides were working for the benefit of the general population. When complete, the project will see two parallel tunnels some 5 km long running east-west through Mount Carmel, with each tunnel being 6.5 meters tall and 10 meters wide.