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| Decided: Jerusalem's Blue Line will go through Emek Refaim

Zev Stub    
Thursday, 14 June 11:25 AM

It is final, at least for now. The final decision has been made by Transportation Minister Israel Katz that the Blue Line of the Jerusalem Light Rail will pass through Emek Refaim, as originally intended. 

The decision comes after several years of protests. Emek Refaim-area residents and businesses have been fighting for years against a plan they say would incapacitate one of Jerusalem's most famous commercial and residential streets for years. Alternative routes were suggested, including the 7km Mesila Park path just behind Emek Refaim or the construction of an underground tunnel, but none offered fewer problems than the original plan. 

To help ease the burden on the neighborhood, Katz said work on the infrastructure would be done around the clock, in order to reduce the timetable for the project to two years, instead of the 3.5 years originally estimated. Katz also said that NIS 250 million would be set aside in the budget to help assist local businesses with hardships due to the construction. 

       

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