In a decision welcomed by cities fighting the controversial Highway 531 project, the Supreme Court this week ordered the National Infrastructure Committee and the National Roads Authority to re-examine their plans to take residents' concerns into account, reports www.local.co.il. The court of three judges said the authorities should consider residents' desires to have a section of the proposed cross-Sharon highway made a tunnel rather than an open road, and ordered them to re-examine the issue and present their conclusions in 60 days. According to the report, a committee of residents from Herzliya, Ra'anana and Givat Chen took the authorities to court, saying that the air and noise pollution resulting from the open highway the authorities are planning would exceed legal limits. They said the problem would be solved if a 4 km stretch of the highway to be built close to residents' homes would be encased in a tunnel. They also said that a tunnel would cost some NIS 3 billion less than an open road, as the authorities would not need to requisition thousands of dunams of land above it. The authorities have argued that a tunnel would cost more to build than a road and is not practical. But the judges ruled that the authorities should indeed re-consider the matter and return to court with their conclusions in 60 days. Ra'anana Mayor Nahum Hofree and Herzliya Mayor Yael German welcomed the decision, saying the highway is necessary for their cities now and for future generations, but the environmental damage should be limited, and a tunnel would be the best solution. They said they hoped the roads authorities would finally decide that the tunnel is the "correct and necessary" option.