Katz stops plans for weekend bridge construction in Tel Aviv



Transport minister Yisrael Katz stopped on Wednesday plans to close parts of the Ayalon Highway
in Tel Aviv during the weekend for the construction of the new Yehudit bridge for pedestrians and bicycles, connecting Yigal Alon Street and the Montefiore district.

Ayalon Highways Co. announced Tuesday that the planned work would take place in six weekends from 31 August. Each time one direction of the Ayalon Highway had to be closed for traffic for 24 hours. The company planned to close the motorway at 6 pm on Friday and reopen at 6 pm on Saturday.

Yehudit Bridge Tel Aviv

Ayalon Highways Co. stated that it decided to completely close the motorway during construction, despite the inconvenience this would cause, due to the hazardous nature of the work.

The plans aroused the anger of the ultra-orthodox parties because of the Shabbat desecration
it will bring with it.

United Torah Judaism MK Uri Maklev said that roads are often closed to different race competitions and that a solution must be found so that the work is not performed on Shabbat.

Shas MK Yinon Azulay wrote to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to intervene and stop the work. He pointed out that the Hebrew month of Elul, a month of heavenly grace and forgiveness, is a terrible time to plan such an open and sustained Shabbat desecration.

Azulay also noted that the coalition agreement, signed in 2015, states that the status quo regarding religion and state will not be violated.

A simulation of the new bridge (Photo: Hen Architects)

A simulation of the new bridge (Photo: Hen Architects)

Transport minister Katz said that the announcement about the works to be carried out on Shabbat was "excessive and unnecessary".

He wore Ayalon Highways Co. to immediately freeze the plans and submit new plans as soon as possible to carry out the work without disrupting the traffic on the weekend, for example by carrying out the work in the late night hours.

Ayalon Highways Co. said it would "act in accordance with instructions from the Ministry of Transport and explore alternatives."

MK Maklev welcomed Katz's decision and said: "It is proven that when there is a will, there is a way to find solutions, and we welcome that."

Merez leader MK Tamar Zandberg struck Katz's slogan, saying: "in a democratic-liberal state in 2018, infrastructure work must be managed according to needs and in a way that least disturbs the lives of citizens, and not according to obscurity. grilling of politicians serving rabbis instead of the public. "Katz's insufferable capitulation with the Haredim proves how much this government leads Israel away from liberal democracy."

Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid chose to blame Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The Haredim, the real rulers of this government, have ordered Netanyahu to freeze works on Ayalon Highways, so Netanyahu obeyed and froze of course, and we'll be trapped in insane traffic again," said Lapid.

"The only government that did not capitulate to their whims was the one we formed.The only government that will not capitulate for them in the future will be those we form," he added.

 (Photo: Hen Architects)

(Photo: Hen Architects)

The construction project of the bridge will result in the installation of six solid steel beams, 55 meters long, weighing more than 1,000 tons.

This complex engineering and safety operation will be carried out in the central and busiest traffic artery in Israel. Approximately 750,000 vehicles and dozens of passenger trains pass the location every day.

The bridge is 110 meters long, 11 meters wide and 18 meters high. It will consist of, among other things, a steel beam that will lean on an upper central arch and horizontal beams, without columns.

The bridge will be divided into a cycle path and a pedestrian path with wooden floors. Between the two is a sitting area with street furniture and parking for bicycles. The top of the bridge is covered.

The bridge assembly will be carried out by placing each beam through special hydraulic cranes. The lifting of each beam is scheduled to last for about 24 hours, with the installation of the cranes taking six hours and the lifting work itself, together with the welding of the parts, will take about 15 hours. To ensure the safety of the employees, a lot of time is spent on the use of the cranes, so that the work can be done with maximum safety for the project staff and drivers.

 (Photo: Hen Architects)

(Photo: Hen Architects)

The project is an initiative of the municipality of Tel Aviv and the Ayalon Highway Company. The bridge connects the eastern and western parts of the city and encourages safe and ecological transport on foot and by bicycle.

It is also hoped that the bridge would serve to reduce the number of vehicles entering Tel Aviv. After its completion, residents of the neighboring cities of Ramat Gan and Givatayim can enter the city center.

The bridge is built not far from the Hashalom train station and the future Yehudit station on the red line of the light rail. It will also facilitate access to the Cinematheque, the Tel Aviv Museum and the Sarona market on the west side of the city; and Menorah Arena and office buildings on the east side.

Two years ago parts of the Ayalon Highway were closed to traffic due to the construction of the southern portal
and passenger terminal of the Hashalom train station.


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