THIS MONTH is due to see formal tender documents issued to the five consortia shortlisted last year for the build-operate-transfer concession to develop the first light rail lines in Jerusalem (RG 8.00 p462). The Transport Ministry and the Municipality announced at the end of November that preliminary works totalling US$75m would get under way immediately, pending the tendering of the concession.

Public consultation meetings began last month for the preliminary works, which include utilities diversion and demolition of empty buildings along the 14 km initial route from Pisgat Ze’ev to Mount Herzl. According to project management company Moriya, construction of the line is due to be completed by 2005 at a cost of US$400m, of which 25% will come from the public sector. n