Tel Aviv's Ma'ariv flyover to be demolished

An underpass and light rail station will be built at one of the city's busiest intersections.

13 companies from four countries took part in a conference of bidders in a tender announced by NTA, the government mass rail transport company, for construction of an underground station for the light rail Red and Green Lines. The station will be built on the site of the famous Ma'ariv bridge (Nesharim Bridge), which will be demolished.

The potential bidders include Pizzarotti and Ghella from Italy, Vinci from France, CCC from China, and Israeli companies, including Danya Cebus Ltd. (TASE: DNYA), Shapir Civil and Marine Engineering Ltd., and Shikun u'Binui Solel Boneh Infrastructures Ltd.. The cost of building the station is estimated at NIS 1 billion.

The station, which will be one the Tel Aviv light rail's largest stations, will include a three-level underground station: one for the Red Line, one for the later Green Line, and one for selling tickets. Work on the station will begin in six months, and the main intersection will be closed for five years. An underpass from Yitzhak Sadeh St. to Lincoln and Carlebach Sts. will replace the demolished bridge.

NTA claimed that eliminating a bridge so identified with the city is a symbol of the fact that the Tel Aviv Metropolitan light rail is beginning to pass from the drawing board to actual construction, and has reached the point of no return.

At the same time, several days ago, senior NTA officials met with Ministry of Finance Accountant General Michal Abadi-Boiangiu in order to obtain an exemption from the tender requirement for PB for management of the light rail project. Hiring PB will cost hundreds of millions of shekels. Sources inform "Globes" that Abadi-Boiangiu was persuaded that having a single company manage the Red Line project was the right policy and the usual policy throughout the world, but she asked for additional documents proving why PB should be exempted from a tender.

Several weeks ago, "Globes" was the first to report that NTA was expected to sign an agreement for PB to manage the venture for a 10-year period. Instead of the internal engineers and consultants currently working in the company, PB, which provides professional infrastructure services, is being selected to provide all the consultation and management services required by NTA. Abadi-Boiangiu, however, has demanded that NTA halt this arrangement until she considers the matter.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 21, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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