In Compromise, Public Security Minister Will Allow Launch of Work on Tel Aviv Light Rail

Work will begin on August 2, with traffic jams stretching far from the city possible.

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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A rendering of Tel Aviv's planned light rail.
A rendering of Tel Aviv's planned light rail.Credit: TheMarker
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is expected to announce Thursday that he will allow the start of excavation work for the Tel Aviv-area light rail in three of the eight sites in the project’s first segment.

The work would begin on August 2 — a comprise and a way to gauge the effect of the construction on the public, officials say.

“Work on the Tel Aviv light rail will proceed in full, precisely in accordance with what was agreed to with the police, and in keeping with the published timetable,” the Transportation Ministry said Wednesday.

“It is up to the public security minister to ensure that the police perform all the tasks that they have been given and that they are prepared for the assignments they have taken on.”

The three sites are on Carlebach Street and the intersection of Allenby and Yehuda Halevi streets in Tel Aviv, and one site in neighboring Ramat Gan.

A week ago the police showed Erdan projections for the work’s impact on public security and quality of life for area residents. According to the police, the construction work in the Tel Aviv area will create traffic jams that range far north of the city, as well as to Modi’in in the southeast and Ashdod in the south.

Earlier this week, Erdan harshly criticized the Transportation Ministry for its allegedly faulty preparations, telling police officials he would try to postpone the start of the work.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has said Erdan has no authority in the matter and that the work would begin as scheduled. State Comptroller Josef Shapira has said he would examine the authorities’ preparedness for infrastructure work.

The police say the Transportation Ministry has not provided emergency routes as promised, and only three of the 36 parking lots due to open on the city’s outskirts — to let drivers park and enter town on public transportation — have opened. And not all the public transportation lines are ready either, the police say.

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