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2nd sinkhole opens on main Tel Aviv highway, causing traffic chaos but no injuries

Three lanes of Ayalon blocked near La Guardia interchange after second sinkhole opens on thoroughfare within a number of weeks

Workers near a sinkhole on the Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv, November 25, 2022 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Workers near a sinkhole on the Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv, November 25, 2022 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

A sinkhole opened up on Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway on Friday morning, two months after a similar incident closed sections of the thoroughfare for a number of weeks.

The incident took place at the La Guardia interchange on the major intracity freeway in the Gush Dan region, close to the Hagana Train Station.

No injuries or damage to property were reported.

Three of the five lanes going south were blocked to traffic and drivers were asked to seek alternative routes, police said.

Safety experts from Ayalon Highways, the company that operates the road, were dispatched to the scene and are examining the scope of the damage caused.

Some lanes will remain shut until road safety can be assured, authorities said.

The Ayalon Highway is built over the channel of the Ayalon Stream, putting it at a higher risk for sinkholes.

Additionally, huge amounts of infrastructure and construction work in the area have caused sinkholes to open and severe flooding to occur.

Several sinkholes have been discovered in Israel in recent months, including two recent incidents in Tel Aviv.

On Sunday, police were alerted to the sinkhole on the corner of Ibn Gabirol and Zeitlin streets in the city, right by Rabin Square.

The sinkhole may have been caused by the construction of the Green Line of the Tel Aviv light rail system that is taking place in the area, upsetting the subterranean soil, according to Hebrew media reports.

In September, a part of the Ayalon Highway was shut down for two weeks after a 15-meter-deep (50-foot) sinkhole emerged at Hashalom Interchange. It was allegedly caused by construction work on the nearby Azrieli Spiral Tower, which is slated to become Tel Aviv’s second-tallest building.

Police at the site of a sinkhole on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv on September 17, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Earlier this month, a sinkhole appeared in a parking spot between two buildings in Hod Hasharon. Emergency services that arrived at the scene ordered an evacuation of nearby buildings until municipal engineers examined the hole to assess its cause.

In July, a man was killed when a sinkhole opened underneath a swimming pool during a party at a home in the central town of Karmei Yosef.

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