Over our heads

Anyone who has been to the city entrance in the last few weeks will have seen the bridge for the light railway taking shape.

jerusalem rail 88 (photo credit: courtesy)
jerusalem rail 88
(photo credit: courtesy)
Shmuel Elgrabli, media director of the Light Rail Project in Jerusalem, explained to this reporter exactly what is happening now. Twelve parts of the bridge arrived recently from Koor Metals in the Haifa Bay area. These sections are being assembled on the ground, and Elgrabli said that with police permission they will soon be lifted by crane onto the yellow metal supports. The first section is 20 meters long, and the work will soon be extended in the directions of Jaffa Road and Sderot Herzl. The gray curved section that will carry the railway track is obviously too low on the ground to permit the passage of high vehicles - not least the double-decker bus used on the 99 city sightseeing tour - but it will soon be raised to its final height. The yellow supports will then be removed. Elgrabli said that later a 118-meter-high pole will be erected, with 66 cables, each one 50 millimeters wide. These will be constructed by an Italian firm, of special steel to carry the entire weight of the bridge. The entire structure has been designed in accordance with the strictest safety standards - both Israeli and international - as far as earthquakes are concerned. Asked whether the wind would cause a lot of noise through the cables, Elgrabli said he was not aware of any such problem. This bridge is the first of its kind in Israel. The major construction work will be done only at night, over a period of about six or seven months, although Elgrabli said he wasn't working with a stopwatch. During special installations the city entrance will be closed at night and traffic will be diverted.