The Eastern Ring Road is an arterial traffic road that passes from the north to the south of East Jerusalem. The road is 27 kilometers long and includes 4 bridge systems, three tunnels, and a secondary road system that links to the local neighborhood roads. The road is planned to sprawl over 1250 dunams, and its cost is estimated at 950M NIS.
The Jerusalem Municipality gave official approval of the project, but because it constitutes a national project, the Israeli government - specifically the Office of Transportation - has also been involved, as well as the Israel National Roads Corporation. Ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the Eastern Ring Road is under the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation.
The basic Eastern Ring Road project encompasses a number of goals, most of them positive: to connect neighborhoods in the north of Jerusalem to those in the south; to connect East Jerusalem to its suburbs in the West Bank, to provide an access route between the north and south of the West Bank, to connect the Palestinian and Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and to ease movement between Israeli settlements and the north and south of the city.
Unfortunately, the project today achieves only the last two goals. Given the fact that the separation barrier lies just meters from the Eastern Ring Road and cuts off parts of East Jerusalem and more than 250,000 of its Palestinian residents from the West Bank, the road only reinforces this reality. Similarly, traffic between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank are currently being routed to a separate road system as part of an Israeli experiment to expand the borders of East Jerusalem de facto - “The Maaleh Adumim Bubble,” an area that is comprised of Maaleh Adumim itself as well as the greater surrounding area, including E-1.
At this point, the Planning Commission has approved the northern and southern stretches of the road. The central segment of the Ring Road - the part that goes from Abu Dis to Sur Baher - is still in discussion in various planning commissions.