A new section of the Begin Expressway in Jerusalem was opened Wednesday morning in a ceremony featuring Mayor Nir Barkat and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
The latest addition to the expressway links the Gilo neighborhood in southern Jerusalem to the Gush Etzion tunnel and Route 60.
The change has both strategic importance as well as practical ramifications for Israeli drivers.
With the Begin Expressway spanning the city from north to south, drivers can now cross Jerusalem in 12 minutes, avoiding high-congestion intersections and city roads.
That not only benefits residents of the capital, it also brings Judea and Samaria closer together than ever before.
At the expressway’s northern terminus is Highway 443, a strategically crucial route connecting Jerusalem with the coastal plain via the Binyamin region of Samaria.
On the southern end, the new addition to the expressway links Begin with southbound Route 60, which runs through Gush Etzion down to Hevron.