צילום: דרך ארץ

Highway 6 – Central Section – Derech Eretz

Highway 6, also known as Cross Israel, Trans-Israel Highway, National Israeli Highway, or Rabin Highway 6, is the first toll road in Israel.

The highway is 170km long and getting longer each year.

The Israeli government marked the highway as a high priority national project that supports the development of Israel's transport, economy and society. Due to the route’s importance, the government expedited its construction by special means.

Road construction was facilitated through two laws enacted by the Knesset. One is the Trans-Israel Highway Law 1994, which deals with arrangements for land expropriation and assuming possession for the purpose of building the road and granting special status to the Trans-Israel Highway Company. The second is the Toll Road Law (National Highway for Israel) 1995 which defines the Trans-Israel Highway Company as the “regulating authority” for the project.

Cross Israel Highway is one of the largest infrastructure ventures to have been built in Israel in recent years. It was created as a partnership between the public and private sectors, known as Private Public Partnership (PPP), AKA, BOT:  Build –Operate –Transfer. This refers to a project where the franchisee is required to fund, build and operate the toll road. In return, the State grants the franchisee the right to charge a toll fee throughout the franchise term. The fee is meant to be used as the source of the franchisee’s ROI in the venture, in addition to the venture profit.

The highway operates as a completely electronic toll road. Any vehicle may get on the highway, without any prior notice or communication with the franchisee. The vehicle owner is identified through the license plate and the bill is sent via mail, according to the address registered with the Vehicle Licensing Authority. The highway user may enter into an agreement with the franchisee in advance. In this case, the vehicles traveling on the road will be identified, either by the license plate or by a smart electronic identification card ("Paskal") and the bill will be sent to the customer's address, as disclosed to the franchisee in the agreement between them.

The maximum toll fee as well as the mechanisms for updating its rates were determined in the tender, anchored in the franchise contract, and approved by the Knesset Economic Committee. The toll fees are published in the Public Records and in the newspapers, in a manner instructed by the Minister of Transport and Road Safety, in accordance with section 6 (c) of the Toll Road Law, and of course, on the websites of the franchisee and the company operating the road on their behalf.

In 1997, Derech Eretz Highways (1997) LTD won the bid for the BOT tender for the establishment and operation of Cross-Israel Highway - Highway 6, and in 1998 the franchise agreement was signed with the franchisee. Construction began in 1999.

The franchisee operates the road through an operating company on their behalf - Derech Eretz Highways Management Corporation LTD.