Israeli infrastructure projects that beat the deadline

Published date29 September 2022
Publication titleGlobes (Rishon LeZion, Israel)
But that trend is changing with closer supervision, new technologies and incentives built into government tenders. Here are four examples of projects that were completed ahead of schedule

Road 16 - Jerusalem

At the end of August, Road 16, linking the Tel Aviv - Jerusalem highway to the southwestern suburbs of Jerusalem was opened months ahead of schedule. The six kilometer highway includes two long tunnels in each direction, seven bridges and three interchanges that provide a new entrance to Jerusalem. Permitted speed on the highway is 80 kilometers per hour and the cost of the project is NIS 2.5 billion including 20 years maintenance.

Oren Cohen, the CEO of Shapir-Pizzarotti, which built the road, said, "When Netivei Israel - The National Transport Infrastructure Co. published the tender, the estimate was that it would take four years to complete the project. The companies that competed with Shapir-Pizzarotti for the tender petitioned the courts that the 36-months allocated for completing the project was unrealistic but the petition was dismissed. In practice the project was completed in 33 months.

How did it happen?

Cohen explained, "There was a very strong financial incentive to finish ahead of schedule. We are operating and maintaining the road until 2044. Otherwise it would not have happened. The financial model is that from the moment the road is opened to traffic, we receive a fixed payment from Netivei Israel. There is an incentive here to finish on time, but on the other hand there is no room to cut corners because we are the ones who would have to cope with it in the coming years. Therefore, the model is both quality and incentives."

How was it done?

"The practicalities were through design improvements. With the bridges, we based ourselves on more advanced technology, which allowed for fewer columns and made it possible to complete the bridges in less time. Very advanced templates were put up that cost more money. A second improvement is that in some of the exits from the tunnels, we changed the design and instead of splitting, we widened the tunnel, which shortened the job.

"If there wasn't the financial incentive, we would work with standard templates and a conventional method and we wouldn't make an effort to do it faster - if there was no reason to rush, no one would work faster. We spent more money due to the use of more expensive technologies, but we get paid for operating the road, I wouldn't say we saved money."

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