The Tel Aviv Planning and Building Committee has “revived” the plan to cover over the Ayalon Highway on a relatively reduced scale, although possibly as a first stage of the full plan.
The committee decided at its most recent meeting “To send the plan’s documents to the Committee for National Infrastructures subject to the procedure for promoting a national infrastructure plan, and to recommend to the Committee for National Infrastructures the rapid progress of this important strategic plan” The decision is designed, in practice, to put back up for discussion the plan number 132 that was first tabled in 2016 when the masterplan for covering the Ayalon Highway was approved. The plan encompasses 2,500 dunams (625 acres) of public parks.
The current plan will be promoted in a significantly scaled-down format. It involves expanding two bridges between the Hashalom Interchange and the Arlozorov Interchange over the Ayalon Highway, which would create a covered area of 43 dunams (10.75 acres) of open park, planted areas, pedestrian and bicycle paths and more without any major construction except for small buildings like kiosks, café carts, and various small pavilions and stands.
Much has been said about the reduction of the plan, and about the transition from very extensive roofing from the Hagana Bridge in the south to the Yarkon Park in the north, at a cost of about NIS 2 billion shekels, to the roofing of only two bridges.
The reasons for this reduction are mostly technical, and stem mainly from the difficulty in finding free land for the foundation strip, a strip of land on which the elements that would carry the roofing and hold it are supposed to be erected. The land suitable for this was found in the area of the two bridges, so the plan “shrank” to expand both of them only.
However, it seems that this is not the end of the story as far as the complete vision for the Ayalon covering is concerned: “This is only the first phase of this great enterprise,” says architect Uri Mazor, partner and director of the Mazor First architects and urban planners firm, which is part of the team for the new plan. “This is a beginning, like any tower that first grows as part of a large plan. At the current stage, the engineering, statutory, and technical potential is to maintain these two roofs, but this is a plan that can expand and widen and become a more significant covering. In the future, it will be possible to develop additional plans that will allow roofing as well in the other parts above the Ayalon.”
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on March 5, 2023.
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