The Carmel Tunnels are a toll road system in the Haifa metropolitan area, the first of its kind in Israel. They integrate a complex array of infrastructure and advanced technologies. The tunnels provide drivers with a quick and convenient alternative to driving through the city and significantly reduces travel time between 2 entrances to Haifa – the Haifa South interchange (the Carmel Coast) and the Krayot interchange (Check Post intersection), to about thirty minutes during rush hour. The tunnels shorten travel time between residential neighborhoods and employment, commerce and recreation areas, reduce traffic in the central urban area and improve access to intercity roads.
The project was built in the BOT (Build Operate Transfer) format for designing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining the toll road tunnels, which cross the Carmel Ridge from west to east.
The interchange is located above the Giborim River, and around it are the residential neighborhoods of Carmel and Neve Sha'anan, which also make use of the project to reach the industrial, commercial and recreational areas in the east and the industrial zones, summer resorts and recreational areas in the west.
The franchisee, chosen through public tender, is Carmelton Group LTD. Their shareholders are Shikun & Binui LTD and Allied Holdings Group LTD. The franchise agreement between the franchisee and the Israeli government was signed in 1999 and in December 2006 the financial closure phase of the project was completed. Construction began around that time, and was completed at the end of November 2010, about five months before the scheduled date.
The Carmel Tunnels opened for traffic on 30.11.10.
The franchise is for a period of 35 years (until July 2040), during which Carmelton Group LTD operates the tunnels as a toll road through the management company – “Carmel Routes”.
The maximum toll fee payment for collection by the franchisee and its updating mechanisms are defined in the franchise agreement.
Payment can be made with cash at the tunnel entrance, or by registering in advance – as a subscriber.
The price is uniform, 9.94 ILS per section (7.01 ILS for subscribers), for travel from the Check Post junction to Rupin Road and from Rupin Road to the Carmel Coast.
- The price for buses (publicly used vehicle) for each section is 3 times the price for a private vehicle.
- The price for trucks (heavy-duty vehicles) for each section is 5 times the price for a private vehicle.
- During off-peak hours, a significant discount is offered to heavy-duty vehicles – 3.5 times (instead of 5 times) the price for a private vehicle.
The tunnels in numbers
The total length of the Carmel tunnels - 6,200 meters
The length of the section from Haifa South interchange to Neve Sha'anan interchange – 3,200 meters
The length of the section from Neve Sha'anan interchange to Krayot interchange – 1,650 meters
Tunnel height - 6.5 meters
Tunnel width - 10 meters
As part of the project 8 bridges have been built.