Israel’s new highway helps wildlife cross the road

Israel’s new highway helps wildlife cross the road

Although the abundant wildlife living in the hills west of Jerusalem will not be driving on the highway, animals need to access food and habitats on both sides of the road. And so a 70-meter-wide concrete “eco-bridge” has been built over a six-kilometer section of new roadway between Sha’ar Hagai and the Shoresh Junction.

“The overpass is necessary because the route of the paved road in the Jerusalem hills goes through areas that constitute habitats for hundreds of species of plants and wildlife,” says David Landesman, head of Highway 1 project for Netivei Israel National Transport Infrastructure Company.

“There are dozens of types of animals in the area, including deer, gazelles, wild boars, foxes, jackals, hyenas, porcupines and many reptiles,” Landesman tells ISRAEL21c.

“Establishing this ecological bridge is designed to allow safe passage of all animals in the vicinity and it will make Route 1 into one of the greenest paved roads in the country in the coming years.”

The body of the eco-bridge as seen in early 2016. Photo courtesy of Netivei Israel

Landesman says the design plan for the animal overpass was created with the assistance of landscape, environment and architecture consultants, and with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, with particular emphasis on scenic and ecological aspects.

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