A franchise agreement has been signed in the public-private partnership (PPP) tender for the Highway 16 project - a new entry road into Jerusalem. Representing the state, the Ministry of Finance accountant general department, the Ministry of Transport, and the National Road Safety Authority signed the agreement with Shapir-Pizzarotti, a company owned in equal shares by Shapir Engineering (TASE: SPEN) and Italian company Impresa Pizzarotti, for planning, financing, and constructing Highway 16. Shapir-Pizzarotti will also maintain and operate the road for 25 years. Construction will begin in 2019, with the road being opened to traffic in 2022-2023.
The new road, the cost of which is projected at over NIS 1 billion, will be another important entry road into the capital, connecting Highway 1 with Jerusalem's western and southern neighborhoods. The five-kilometer road will include two tunnels - one each under the Yefe Nof and Har Nof neighborhoods - and three interchanges: one each in the vicinity of Motza (Highway 1), Nahal Revida (Givat Shaul), and Shmuel Beyth Street in Jerusalem (near Shaare Zedek Medical Center). The road will significantly improve access to Jerusalem, relieve traffic congestion, and reduce travel times.
Two months ago, the inter-ministerial tenders committee for the Highway 16 project, headed by deputy Accountant General Nehemia Kind and composed of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport, the National Road Safety Authority, National Transport Infrastructure Company (Netivei Israel), the Jerusalem municipality, and government company Inbal, announced that the bid by Shapir-Pizzarotti, one of the six groups competing in the tender, had been selected as the winner. The bids consisted of the amount of the construction grant to be paid by the state. Shapir-Pizarotti's bid was NIS 50 million.
Accountant General Rony Hizkiyahu said, "Highway 16, a PPP project, will be another one of the successful PPP transportation projects, which include the Jerusalem light rail, Highway 431, the Cross-Israel Highway, and the Carmel Tunnels. Additional infrastructure projects in transportation, energy, water, and the environment will take place in the coming years in the framework of the 2030 infrastructure development plan."
Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz said, "Highway 16 is a nationally important project that will substantially improve access to Jerusalem and provide another entry road to the capital from the west. The road, which will be built and maintained in accordance with international standards, will relieve traffic congestion at the entrance to the capital, reduce driving time, and cut down on air pollution. It will bring Jerusalem up to the transportation standards of capital cities in developed countries."
Netivei Israel general manager Nissim Perez said, "Following the reopening of Highway 1 to traffic, construction of Highway 16, will significantly reduce traffic congestion at the entrance to Jerusalem and improve the welfare of the city's residents and visitors."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 25, 2018
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