The tunnel will be the world's longest for transporting water under pressure.
In order to meet the demand for water in Jerusalem and the surrounding area for the next 50 years, Mekorot National Water Company and Austrian company Zublin Spezialtiefbau this month began digging a fifth system for Jerusalem. The system consists of a 13-kilometer tunnel through which water will flow from the Eshtaol area near Beit Shemesh to Ein Kerem. When the work is completed in three years, it will be the longest tunnel in the world for transporting water with pressure.
The TBM machine, built specially for mining the limestone in the Jerusalem hills, has a 3.9-meter diameter, and is 240 meters long. This monstrous machine is equipped with a 170-ton mining head, arms that support the machine during mining, and devices for early detection of hollow spaces along the route. This "tunnel mole" is expected to work 24/7 and finish 24 meters a day.
Jerusalem's fifth water supply system is part of a project for building the new national water carrier promoted by Mekorot in recent years to connect the five desalinization facilities built along the coast to the national water system, and from there to other parts of Israel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 1, 2017
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Jerusalem water tunnel Photo: Mekorot