Tel Aviv Highway Exit Opens Partially after Sinkhole-related Closure

Authorities said that they had reopened a Tel Aviv highway exit on Sunday morning, which had been closed for almost two weeks.

This was after a large sinkhole had emerged and required the Hashalom Interchange exit to be shuttered, so it could be inspected and repaired.


At 5 a.m. on Sunday morning, Ayalon Highways said that they had reopened the exit, but it was still ‘limited’.

The major intercity freeway is operated by Ayalon Highways in the Gush Dan region. According to the operator, they had performed a number of assessments.

Now, they were ready to open exit lanes for people traveling south and also allow them to have access to the parking lots adjacent to the interchange, which are part of the Azrieli Compound.

The company also added that the reopening of the exit would be monitored closely to ensure there is no problem.

Authorities further said that they would keep some of the lanes closed until they can truly ascertain road safety.

The sinkhole

Last month, the interchange had seen a sinkhole emerged suddenly, which was about 15 meter, or 50-foot deep and it had been filled in quickly.

Even though it appeared on a busy highway, it had fortunately not resulted in any such injuries or accidents.

It had been alleged that the sinkhole had been caused because of the construction work taking place nearby related to the second-tallest building in Tel Aviv i.e. Azrieli Spiral Tower.

Sinkholes usually occur when cavities are created because of water flowing under the ground and they eventually collapse.

According to officials, there could be a risk of another similar collapse if groundwater continues to be present under the road.

Therefore, they said that further investigation was needed for determining the stability of the ground before they allow the traffic to flow once more.

Technical failure

The foundational and excavation work of the tower of the Azrieli Group is the responsibility of the building company called the Soleh Boneh.

Last month, the company said that the sinkhole was actually a ‘technical failure’. The risk of sinkholes is considered high on the Ayalon Highway because it is built over the Ayalon Stream’s channel.

Even though it is rare for sinkholes to appear in the center of Israel, one had opened up in July underneath a swimming pool during a party.

This had occurred in a home located in Karmei Yosef, which had led to the death of one man. The Dead Sea region has also seen several sinkholes open up.

This is because the water is receding due to climate change, along with human activities. In other news, another sinkhole appeared as recently as Monday.

This time, it opened up in Jerusalem on Bar Ilan Street, while there was infrastructure work taking place at the location.

The sinkhole resulted in extremely heavy traffic and the police was making an effort to redirect the traffic to different routes.

The frequency with which these sinkholes are appearing is certainly alarming.

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