Road 16 is all set to go, after the Finance Ministry, the Transportation Ministry, and the Road Safety Authority signed an agreement to fund Road 16, a new highway that will allow for faster access to the southern neighborhoods of Yerushalayim. The road, to be named in honor of Harav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, will be built as part of a private-public partnership between contracting firm Shafir and Italian construction firm Pizzaroti.
The tender will see the builders of the road operating it for 25 years, and under the terms of the tender, they will be able to collect a toll. The cost of the road is expected to be about a billion shekels ($280 million), and will be completed within five years, the Ministry said.
Construction of the road is expected to begin next year, and is set to be completed by 2023. The five kilometer project will allow traffic to flow directly from the Tel Aviv-Yerushalayim Road (Road 1) directly to Yerushalayim’s southern neighborhoods, including Malha and Gilo. The road will begin in the Motza area and include two tunnels, running underneath the Har Nof and Yefe Nof neighborhoods. The road is expected to ease traffic into the main entrance of Yerushalayim, and relieve traffic on Sderot Herzl and other main arteries at the western edge of the city.
Commenting on the deal, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that “Road 16 is a project of national importance which will significantly ease access to Yerushalayim, and will be an additional main entrance into the city. The road will be built and maintained according to international standards, and will significantly reduce commuting time and pollution.”