The Regional Cooperation Ministry has published a tender for the construction of a new bridge over the Jordan River that will link Israel and Jordan and be the first joint infrastructure project built by the two countries.
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This new bridge is part of the Jordan Gate project, a bilateral industrial and employment zone to be situated on both sides of the river. On the Jordanian side there will be Israeli and Jordanian factories on an area of some 700 dunams (175 acres), while on the Israeli side, near Kibbutz Tirat Zvi, there will be a 245-dunam employment zone and depot for transporting Jordanian products to Israeli ports.
The tender was issued through the Emek Hamayanot Regional Council, in whose territory the project will be built, and follows decisions by the Jordanian and Israeli governments in April and recent final approvals issued by a joint team on security and transportation. The cost of erecting the Israeli side of the project is estimated at 200 million shekels ($51.5 million), of which 55 million shekels will go toward building the bridge.
The construction of the industrial zone is aimed at strengthening the economic and trade ties between Jordan and Israel and increasing stability and cooperation in the region by providing employment and development opportunities.
Deputy Regional Development Minister Ayoub Kara welcomed the tender, saying, “The Jordan Gate project is one of the most important in Israeli-Jordanian relations and will contribute a great deal toward improving ties between the peoples. I’m pleased that the tender is being published at this time, because it proves that the peace between Israel and Jordan is stronger than all the extremists trying to drive a wedge between the countries and to undermine our joint efforts to bring a better future to the people of the region.”