New highway will soon connect to Motza interchange in Jerusalem that now is under construction.

Israel’s Finance and Transport Ministries have issued a pre-qualifying tender for the construction of a second major access highway at the entrance to Jerusalem, an expected $380-million project.

The public-private partnership tender is for the 5 km-long Highway 16 that will link the Motza interchange on Highway 1 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to the Givat Shaul/Begin Highway (Highway 50) interchange.  The project, set to take three years to complete, is designed to substantially ease traffic at the sole entrance to Jerusalem from the coast.

The project will be developed using a design, build, finance, operate and maintain approach.

The plan approved by the regional planning authorities calls for two sets of tunnels of 1.5 km each and three interchanges. 

The Transport Ministry estimates the new highway will lead to an annual savings of up to $100 million annually and reduce traffic on Highway 1 by 30%.

Responses are due by July 15.