Derech Eretz Highways (1997) Ltd. is the Concessionaire for the Yitzhak Rabin Highway (Road 6), also known as the Cross Israel Highway. It is the first toll road to have been constructed in Israel, and is designated as one of the largest infrastructure projects ever implemented here. Road 6 is operated as an electronic toll road using the world's most advanced technologies, with state-of-the art electronic toll collection.
Derech Eretz Highways (1997) Ltd. was established in 1997 and the following year was selected as the Concessionaire to design, build and operate the central section of the Highway 6 toll road for 30 years. Israel Infrastructure Fund holds 75% of the shares and 51% of the economic rights in the company and the Noy Fund holds 25% of the shares and 49% of the economic rights in Derech Eretz.
In January 2004, Road 6 was inaugurated and opened for traffic. At present, after the opening of Section 18, the Highway route extends along some 104 km, from Ein Tut Interchange in the North up to Sorek in the South, including 14 interchanges, 129 bridges, 4 tunnels and a crossing for animals along 150 meters – the first of its kind in Israel. Approximately 250,000 vehicle trips are recorded on the Highway daily. Some 2 million vehicles have a subscription, while over 4.25 million vehicles have at some time traveled along Road 6.
Road 6 offers drivers the advantages of a faster, safer journey, with a pleasant driving experience – no traffic jams, no traffic lights and no unnecessary stops, with a permitted driving speed of 120 kph (75 mph) on portions of the highway, as reported in the press. The route by-passes the congested Greater Tel Aviv area, thereby shortening distances and journey time for drivers, while improving access from the periphery and the center of the country. Road 6 provides four service areas including gas stations, restaurants, rest rooms and leisure areas. Since the opening of Road 6 for traffic, there has been a distinct trend whereby businesses and industrial plants - as part of an economic efficiency plan - are relocating to regions close to the Highway's interchanges, so as to improve access to them. Furthermore, communities along the route have over the past years enjoyed prosperity and accelerated development because of their proximity to the Road 6.
Electronic Toll Road
Road 6 is operated as an electronic toll road, toll collection is completely automatic, and there are no barriers at the entrance or exit from the Road. Billing is carried out by means of a sophisticated toll collection system, based on the types of vehicles (subscriber's or random vehicle) and the number of road segments traveled. The invoice is mailed directly to the client.
Safety and Security
More than $70 million were invested by Derech Eretz in various environmental quality issues connected with the Highway, including landscape rehabilitation and development, prevention of damage to natural resources, crossings for animals, acoustic walls for minimizing noise hazards, preserving archeological sites, and more. Derech Eretz was awarded a prestigious international prize in the field of environmental quality and preservation. Road 6 is built and characterized by high quality construction standards and workmanship, providing the highest level of safety and security to drivers.
The Highway's Control and Operation Center, which is located at Nachshonim Interchange, is manned 24 hours a day. From the Operations Room it is possible to observe travel along the Road and to locate malfunctions and hazards. Furthermore, service cars regularly patrol the highway, as part of the Company's service and operation system. The Highway's operation has been subcontracted to Derech Eretz Highways Management Corporation.
Northern Extension (Section 18)
In 2007, Derech Eretz was chosen as the Concessionaire to build and operate the extension of Road 6 in the North (Section 18), spreading from Iron Interchange to Ein Tut Interchange at Eliyakim, across a length of about 18 km. This is also operated as a toll road. Section 18 was opened for traffic in July 2009 and has contributed to improving drivers' access to and from the northern region of Israel.
The construction costs of Section 18 amounted to approximately $400 Million, part of which was funded by the State. Thanks to the unique financial model applied for the Section 18 Project, Derech Eretz was awarded an international prize for financial innovation.