Central Israel: The Maccabit Highway (Highway 471)

July 20, 2021

The National Roads Authority published a tender for an expressway connecting the Bar Ilan University Interchange on Highway 4 (located in Ramat Gan) with the Trans-Israel Highway (Highway 6) as it crosses Highway 444 near Rosh HaAyin.

This was not a routine project; the skills required to build this stretch of roughly 10 kilometers included construction of a submerged roadbed, as well as a 400-meter tunnel and five bridges. Also required was the expertise to minimize the negative impact on nearby residential areas, where citizens were apprehensive about the effect of the new freeway on their quality of life. Along with their other concerns, the communities along the Maccabit Road needed acoustic retaining walls to shield residents from traffic noise and pollution.

The project was carried out from beginning to end by Shapir engineering specialists. The large 17-20m high retaining walls, the 3-to-4 lanes of sunken roadway in both directions, the six exit and entrance points (a smart combination of ramps and junctions), the two-way tunnel and all bridges were planned and implemented with top efficiency.

As in other projects, Shapir innovation came into play when it was observed that the government plans could be improved for a significant savings in time and cost. All Shapir suggestions for modification were approved by the National Roads Authority, which benefited everyone involved. Due to this experience, which caused the government to realize that civil engineers were capable of improving initial plans, future tenders began to include the option of allowing the contractor to also plan the project.