Road improvements linking Beit Shemesh with Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv are nearing completion, part of the master plan to accommodate a doubling of the city’s population in the coming years.
The new 6-mile stretch of Route 38 connecting Beit Shemesh with Route 1, the Tel Aviv–Yerushalayim highway will be ready for traffic next month. It will have two lanes in each direction, and the current speed limit of 45 miles per hour will be raised to 55, according to Globes.
Drivers will also find new interchanges at the Shimshon junction, Mesillat Tzion and Har Tov, as well as two railway bridges, pedestrian bridges, and an ecological bridge by Mesillat Zion to allow wildlife to cross the highway safely.
The 800-million-shekel Route 38 project follows the opening of the new six lane highway linking Shaar Hagai, the point where Road 38 meets Road 1, with Yerushalayim. Traveling between Beit Shemesh and Tel Aviv will remain difficult with severe congestion on Road 1, especially during rush hours.
In April, the government approved a master plan for 17,000 additional homes in the city.
The current population of 104,000 is expected to pass 200,000.