One of the more interesting things about Israel is that it is still involved in nation-building. Stepping off the plane and traveling around, you quite literally never know what new piece of infrastructure you’re going to see during your trip.
Just in the past few years Israel has seen the completion of the following major projects:
- The opening of Highway 6, a toll road built to alleviate the massive traffic issues in the Tel Aviv area and provide a high-speed north-south roadway connecting the Haifa area to the northern Negev
- The expansion of train service to towns like Modi’in and Ashkelon
- The re-establishment of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv rail line
- The opening of the tunnel through Mount Carmel in Haifa, connecting the eastern edge of Haifa at Lev HaMifratz with the southern entrance of Haifa at Hof HaCarmel, saving at least 20-30 minutes of traffic.
- The construction of a light rail line in Jerusalem that runs on Chords Bridge and on street level, connecting Har Herzl with Pisgat Ze’ev.
There’s a lot still on the drawing boards, including a high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train that is slated to open in 2017, so keep your eyes open for new roads, bridges, trains, and the like the next time you’re in Israel.
It’s thrilling, in a way, to see Israel investing in infrastructure. Last week I was lucky to travel on all of the above projects as I traveled around Israel before, during, and after the Boston-Haifa Joint Steering Committee meetings, and I must say I was very excited.
100 years ago, the writings of A.D. Gordon inspired tens of thousands of poor Jews from Europe to leave home and move to Palestine, ready to pick up their shovels and work the land. 100 years later, there remains something special about working to improve the Land of Israel with these massive projects.