The Jerusalem Municipality is planning to reconstruct the Armenian Patriarchate Road, the sole vehicular access road that serves the Western Wall, the Jewish and Armenian Quarters, the Jerusalem Post reports.
On Thursday, residents of the Jewish Quarter met Jerusalem Municipality representatives for a public presentation about the project, after an anonymous letter was disseminated among residents that spread rumors about the proposed project, author Heddy Breuer Abramowitz writes.
Director of Old City Development at the Jerusalem Development Authority, Aner Ozeri, told residents that no deal had yet been struck between the city and Jewish and Armenian Quarter residents, but that there were plans under discussion.
Ozeri explained that the current infrastructure was built nearly 50 years ago and that it is today inadequate for residents and tourists. People swarm the Old City throughout the year for festivals, celebrations and state ceremonies.
The proposed plan is part of a city development plan, first considered four decades ago, which hopes to unify visually all the gates of the Old City. The design includes stone walkways, new lighting, better sidewalks and more.
The plan will be carried out, if approved, in partnership between the municipality and JDA. It will require 24-six construction and 24-seven closure of a 300-meter section of the Armenian Patriarchate Road.
Renovations would extend from the “Kishle” police station near the Tower of David Museum until the Zion Gate, hence likewise requiring partial closure of the road that continues to the Batei Machse Road reaching the Dung Gate.
While the gate may have once been the pinnacle of military defense technology in its day, it is challenging for modern drivers who navigate in cars and buses as opposed to camels, horses and donkeys.
According to the source, the construction on the road is estimated to take around three-and-a-half months. The would require the relocation of 40 Armenian families who live adjacent to the construction.
Meanwhile, residents seek to hammer out an agreement to get the work done in the shortest possible time, thus reducing the amount of inconvenience to residents and tourists.