Transport Minister Yisrael Katz has decided to name a planned new major entrance road to Jerusalem after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ztz”l, who passed away last week. The new road, currently referred to as Road 16, will begin near Mevasseret Tzion and Motza Illit, just after the Harel Junction, on the road that leads into Jerusalem from the west, and pass through tunnels until it joins up with the Begin Highway that runs through the city from north to south.
Work is set to begin on the road next year.
"I decided to name the new entrance to Jerusalem after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef zt”l,” said Katz in a statement Sunday. Rabbi Ovadia was a great figure for the entire nation of Israel, and a great figure for the city of Jerusalem. This entrance will begin at Mevasseret and pass near the neighborhood of Har Nof, where the rabbi lived. Road 16 will symbolically link between two great figures: Menachem Begin and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, through the two major entrances to the city.”
The new route will ease traffic congestion at the entrance and exit to the city and in the neighborhoods that border on the road, and will make the Givat Shaul area more accessible.
The road will have two lanes going in each direction, and be 4.7 km (almost 3 miles) long. The maximum speed allowed on it will be 80 kph. There will be a connecting road between it and the Motza junction, and it will also connect with Shmuel Bait street, between Shaarei Tzedek Hospital and Begin Road.
Most of the road will pass underground, in two tunnels, one under Har Nof, and the other under Yefeh Nof, the Kerek Kayemet forests and Har Nof. It will also pass over Nahal Revida, on a bridge.