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Shapir Engineering and the French steelworks company Eiffel have won the tender to construct the bridge at Jerusalem's entrance, which is designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The project is estimated to cost NIS 129 million, far higher than the original NIS 80 million forecast.

The tender was the second tender for the bridge, which will carry the capital's new light railway over the busy Herzl Street-Jaffa Street intersection: the first was withdrawn following the sharp rise in steel prices worldwide.

A source close to the tender said the winning bid was far lower than the next lowest, "but due to Shapir Engineering's reputation

as a solid company, it is fair to assume the results will be good."

Shapir will build the bridge together with Eiffel of France, best known for its 1888 construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Shapir beat Menrav, Ramet, the Reichman brothers and Malibu to win the tender.

Changes from the original tender also included design amendments such as strengthening the structure should it be used for more than just light rail cars in the future.

To protect themselves from fluctuations in euro rates and global steel prices, both companies have taken out futures contracts.