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External Benefits of Tunneling - Carmel Tunnels as a Case Study

This project, which was conducted for Carmelton, the company that operates the Carmel Tunnels, examined the economic and environmental benefits caused directly and indirectly by the use of the Carmel Tunnels as compared to alternative routes in the city of Haifa.

Direct user benefits include financial savings, by virtue of two parameters:

Time-saving: Driving through the tunnel reduces travel time as compared to other routes.

Fuel-saving: Fuel savings due to both the reduced travel time and the smooth route.

The indirect public benefits generated by the use of the tunnel include reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (by virtue of fuel saving, reduced emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases is achieved) and noise reduction – traveling through the tunnel reduces the transportation noise generated in the city.

It was found that in all cases driving in the tunnels showed a greater positive benefit than driving along various alternate routes (according to different reference scenarios), while the extent of the benefit depends on the type of vehicle (private, bus, or truck), the alternative route chosen, and the time of the drive (average as compared with the peak hours).

The project also examined the average benefit generated by each journey through the Carmel Tunnels according to vehicle type and time of travel. The study did not examine the benefits in terms of the cost of travel.

A scientific paper summarizing the project was published in Journal of Environmental Protection