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Israel Reissues BOT Tender for Tel Aviv Line After Canceling Previous Bid Over Finances

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Israel has issued a new tender for a long-planned light-rail project in Tel Aviv. The move follows the government’s cancellation last month of a build-operate-transfer award to an Israeli-Chinese-Portuguese-Dutch consortium. The project, now estimated at $2.5 billion, is one of Israel’s largest-ever infrastructure projects. The tender would cover planning for the 23-kilometer line between suburbs north and south of the city. About 11 km of the project will be underground, as will 23 of the planned 33 stations along the route. The government was forced to take over the project earlier this year after the consortium failed to obtain the necessary financing due to the global economic crisis. An Israeli Transport Ministry spokesman says the new tender is for engineering and planning related to three large shafts for the project’s tunnel-boring machine. The project, which is slated to use the cut-and-cover tunneling approach, now is set for completion in 2017, five years later than planned. The government is expected to approve state funding for the project in the coming weeks.

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