On Tuesday, workers from the Moriah company began drilling to create the new large tunnel which will connect Gush Etzion with Yerushalayim and help alleviate the major traffic jams in the area.
The Tunnel Road connecting Gush Etzion and Yerushalayim is currently a two-lane highway with two underground tunnels, and commuters to Yerushalayim in the mornings and back in the afternoons have experienced some of the worst traffic in the country.
The plan is to create a four-lane highway (two lanes in each direction), with the addition of two more tunnels. The shorter of the two new tunnels is nearly complete, and last night marks the beginning of construction on the fourth and final larger tunnel.
The construction plan also involves widening of Route 60 between the Hussan Junction and the community of Elazar further south, which will also help alleviate traffic. That part of the project, which is currently waiting for budgetary approval, is a top priority of the Gush Etzion Regional Council.
Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman said: “The investment and efforts of the council in alleviating traffic are bearing fruit. Tonight, breaking through the mountain to begin construction on another tunnel is a milestone towards resolving traffic jams. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We will continue to strive towards ending the traffic issues from Gush Etzion to Yerushalayim.”