Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
Traffic jam on Route 1 on the way to Jerusalem.

Israel’s Ministry of Construction has submitted to the planning authorities a plan for an alternative access highway to the capital, in addition to Route 1 (Jerusalem-Tel Aviv) and Route 443.

The new highway, which will connect to the planned Route 39 that will cross the lowlands and link Highway 6 to Beit Shemesh and Ashdod, is expected to shorten the time it will take to get to Jerusalem from Ashdod and Ashkelon, as well as from the entire southern district including Beer Sheva.

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The construction and transportation ministries have for the past two years drafted a master plan for the Ashkelon area, which is expected to grow to 1.6 million residents.

Highway 39 was designed as part of the planned infrastructure, and will run in a tunnel under Britannia Park in the Judaean lowland, as an important, direct route connecting Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Malachi and Ashdod.

Construction minister Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu) suggested that “this outline for paving the new highway to Jerusalem is also more economically viable, will contribute to the required connections between the cities, will be more driver-friendly and environmentally friendly, and will not harm the landscape.”

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