The most sophisticated transportation project in the country became operational 17 years after the first tender was published. Estimated annual income from the tunnels will be NIS 160 million
The Carmel toll tunnels opened last Wednesday morning (Dec. 1) at 6 am.
The new toll tunnels became operational 17 years after the first tender was published, but five months ahead of schedule.
The Carmel Tunnels, which include roads, bridges and tunnels, were built with a NIS 1.5 billion investment. They include the longest tunnels in Israel, the largest interchange and the first intra-urban toll road. Forecasts show that the Tunnels will cut traffic on alternative routes by approximately 15%.
The project is the most sophisticated transportation project in the country and includes electronic sensors and dozens of cameras, and the latest safety features. Estimated annual income from the tunnels will be NIS 160 million so that Carmelton should see its investment returned in less than a decade.
The tunnels will pass under Haifa from Hof Hacarmel in the west, at the southern entrance to the city, to the Checkpost junction east of the city. The tunnel is in two sections with a break at the Ruppin Interchange in central Haifa.
Driving the entire 4.7 kilometers from Hof Hacarmel to Checkpost takes eight minutes and costs NIS 11.40. for private cars. Those using the midway point at the Ruppin Interchange will only pay NIS 5.70. Public vehicles will pay triple the toll, and trucks will pay fivefold.
Prime Minister Netanyahu noted at the opening ceremony that he was proud to have both laid the project's cornerstone and dedicated it: "The project is part of a transportation revolution, which includes expressways to the Galilee, a railway to Eilat and a railway to link the Jordan Valley with Haifa, all of which will draw the periphery closer to the center of the country”.