Close to twenty years after its initial opening, Begin Boulevard (Highway 50), the largest thoroughfare in Yerushalayim, will have its grand completion on Thursday.
On Thursday, the highway’s Rosmarin Exchange and the southern section will be opened to traffic, marking the end of two decades of work on the 12-mile project.
The ribbon cutting will be attended by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat.
Begin Boulevard changed the travel realities in the capital, providing the public with a way to traverse the city north-south without traffic lights and traffic jams.
The Rosmarin Exchange directly connecting Highway 50 with the Tunnels Route (60) will become the southern portal to Yerushalayim. The new section will include two levels and a tunnel. The upper level has three lanes running in both directions. The two-lane lower level will connect with the Tunnels Route.
The exchange took two years to build, at a cost of 140 million shekels, out of a total budget of 1.5 billion shekels for Begin Boulevard south.
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that this is the biggest transport project accomplished in Yerushalayim in recent years, comparing it to the Ayalon Highway of Tel Aviv. “It’s good news for the residents of Yerushalayim, Efrat, Beitar and the southern Yerushalayim neighborhoods of Gilo, Har Homa, Beit Safafa and others,” who will benefit from easier access to the city.