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City of David’s Pilgrimage Road wins ‘Oscar of tunneling world’

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The ancient Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem once served as the main route for pilgrims walking from the Pool of Siloam, where Jews going to the Temple would ritually purify themselves traveling to the holy site, during the Second Temple Period

By ILANIT CHERNICK

In an amazing achievement, the City of David’s “Pilgrimage Road” excavation project taking place in Jerusalem, won first place in the acclaimed International Tunneling and Underground Space competition.

The City of David’s project competed against some 170 different projects from 54 countries, making this a brilliant fete.

Under the engineering management of the Project Engineer, and a member of the Young Engineers Section of the Association of Engineers in Israel, Gilad Freiman, the Pilgrimage Road has painstakingly been excavated over the last seven years, together with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The ancient Pilgrimage Road once served as the main route for pilgrims walking from the Pool of Siloam, where Jews going to the Temple would ritually purify themselves while on their way to the holy site, during the Second Temple Period. 

Commenting on the momentous win, Freiman said that this award is “the Oscar” of the world of tunneling.
“The fact that we won first place excites me both personally and nationally,” he said. “When they said at the end that I was part of the project that revealed the Pilgrimage Road in the City of David, that’s worth everything to me.”

Freiman emphasized that this award is important “international recognition of the work we do every day in the field.” 

“I think this project should be international, to bring hearts together and bring peace,” he said. “What we are revealing here is everyone’s history, and I think organizations from all over the world should take part in it.” 

Freiman stressed that this is not his own private win “but that of everyone involved in this important project, and in particular: the City of David, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Nature and Parks Authority, and of course the office where I work – Grushko Engineers.”

In their explanation for choosing the City of David for the award, the award committee pointed out that “this is a unique project that uses creativity and groundbreaking means in the field of engineering and archeology.”

Featured Image: The excavation project in the City of David to uncover the Pilgrimage Road. (Credit: Koby Harati/City of David Archives)

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