Large Sinkhole Opens Up on Tel Aviv Highway Causing Traffic Chaos
On Saturday evening, the main highway of Tel Aviv had a large sinkhole open up and this resulted in the city experiencing traffic chaos.
The Ayalon Highway was where the sinkhole opened, close to the HaShalom Interchange towards the south.
Luckily, there was only traffic chaos and no injuries.
The disruption in traffic occurred because a number of lanes of traffic were shut down by the police on the highway.
The route is already a busy one and the police shut down the three lanes of traffic that lead to the HaShalom exit on the freeway bound towards the south, with only two left open for traffic.
Since it was also the end of Sabbath, traffic was already heavy and the closure only exacerbated the situation because it meant that there was a huge number of cars on the road.
The police was planning on shutting down the entire highway leading to the south, which would mean closure from Ramat Hasharon leading to HaShalom.
Merav Michaeli, the Transportation Minister, issued a warning to people who were planning on coming into Tel Aviv on Sunday by car.
She stated that while they repair the sinkhole, they would bolster public transportation, but also warned those planning to use a car.
Michaeli said that anyone who had the option of working from home on Sunday should do it. She went on to say that if they had to come to the center, then they should favor public transport and not use a car.
The Israel Defense Forces also announced that they would reduce the number of troops arriving on Sunday at bases in central Israel.
This includes the headquarters of the military that are located in Tel Aviv, quite close to where the sinkhole appeared.
Furthermore, the IDF also added that they had also instructed commanders to be more flexible in terms of the arrival time of the soldiers all over the country because of the major traffic jams expected.
It remained unclear as to what had resulted in the sinkhole opening up in the first place, but there is extensive constructive and infrastructure work that is happening in the city.
Media reports indicated that highway maintenance staff was scheduled to work throughout the night in hopes of repairing the sinkhole and the associated damage as quickly as possible.
But, it remained unclear as to when the area would once more be reopened for traffic. Officials also said that there was a possibility the repair would could take as long as two days.
It is relatively rare for sinkholes to make an appearance in the center of the country, but a man had lost his live in July when one opened up under a swimming pool.
The incident occurred in the town of Karmei Yosef at a home where a party was taking place. Such gatherings were regularly hosted at the house, but a permit had not been obtained by the owners before a pool was built.