A plan to extend Tzahal Tunnel was revealed by the Jerusalem Transportation Master Plan Team yesterday. Designed to divert traffic below ground to allow for the free movement of the light rail, the upgrade will also reduce vehicular congestion in the area.
The tunnel was originally built in 2004 to connect North and South Jerusalem via the City Center. It currently begins at Jaffa Gate and ends at Damascus Gate, just outside the Old City.
Once the project is completed, the portal on HaNeviim Street will continue to function as it does today and the one-kilometer extension will branch out through Mea Shearim to Pierre van Paassen Junction.
The resulting infrastructure will allow for greater light rail frequency, increasing arrivals from once every six minutes to once every three minutes.
This project is one of many around Jerusalem that are currently under construction or in planning that takes advantage of the relative ease and speed of modern tunneling techniques. Construction may begin as soon as 2019.