Israel to upgrade longest highway due to fatal accidents


JERUSALEM, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Israel will upgrade the southern part of Highway 90, the longest road in the country, due to many fatal road accidents occurred there over the years.

Israel's ministries of finance and transport said on Thursday in a joint statement that the road would be upgraded at a total cost of 410 million shekels (119 million U.S. dollars).

The budget will be allocated to upgrade the lanes and to build detour lanes, rest areas and lighting poles, according to the statement.

Highway 90, which runs from the town of Metula near the Lebanese border in northern Israel to the Taba crossing near the Egyptian border in the south, includes 360 km in eastern Israel and 117 km in the West Bank.

The section that will be upgraded is 123-km long, running from the Arava junction near the southern Dead Sea to the community of Ketura, about 50 km north of Eilat.

The latest fatal accident on this section occurred on May 28, in which four, including two children, were killed after a head-on collision between two cars. In April, two people were killed in two other accidents.

In an annual report released in 2021, Israel's State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman stated that 251 people were killed on Highway 90 between year of 2003 and 2020, and there were insufficient operations to properly address the hazards.

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