Activists write banners ahead of a protest against the construction of a bridge in Ashrafieh, Saturday, March 1, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Beirut Mayor Bilal Hamad defended Tuesday the Fouad Boutros Highway project, saying it was consistent with the city's urban and environmental fabric and would not demolish any heritage sites.The Fouad Boutros Highway project, which would see a 1.3-km four-lane highway built to link Ashrafieh's Alfred Naccache Road with Charles Helou Avenue by the Beirut Port, was originally proposed in 1972 and later modified in 1983, 1996 and finally under Decree 8228 in May 2012 .The highway would include an underpass at the intersection of the Mar Mitr Boulevard with Charles Malek Avenue; a 25-meter-long tunnel by the College de la Sagesse topped with trees and greenery; a bridge over Armenia Street reaching Charles Helou Avenue; and three underground parking lots.The municipality has earmarked $75 million for the project.
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