ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 66

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Lanes in Tel Aviv highway blocked due to sinking asphalt, causing traffic

Ayalon Highway Company’s engineers expand hole in a southbound lane to examine why it opened up

Workers on Tel Aviv's Ayalon Highway work to examine and fill up a hole in the road after observing sinking asphalt, March 19, 2023. (Ayalon Highways Co.)
Workers on Tel Aviv's Ayalon Highway work to examine and fill up a hole in the road after observing sinking asphalt, March 19, 2023. (Ayalon Highways Co.)

Parts of the main Tel Aviv thoroughfare were closed off Sunday after officials noticed a spot on the road where asphalt was sinking.

The incident occurred on the southbound part of Ayalon Highway, between Glilot Interchange and KKL Interchange on the northern edge of the city.

Two of the four lanes were blocked to vehicles, causing heavy traffic in the area while workers expanded the hole in the road to try to determine why the asphalt was sinking.

The Ayalon Highways Co. firm said its engineering team was “removing the asphalt, conducting tests to identify the reason for the sinking and preparing to fill up and tighten the hole.”

The statement said the teams were working to enable the lanes to be reopened as quickly as possible.

There was no immediate update from the Israel Police.

The incident happened after several sinkholes and other holes opened up in Tel Aviv and its suburbs in recent months, fueling fears that such incidents could become more widespread.

In January, a small hole opened up on Tel Aviv’s main Allenby Street, with police saying it was unclear what had caused it.

Several days earlier, three buildings were evacuated over fears they would collapse after a cave-in at a nearby construction site in the central city of Hod Hasharon.

Also in Hod Hasharon in January, a driver narrowly escaped when his car was pulled into a hole.

The site of a sinkhole that opened up in Tel Aviv, January 21, 2023 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

In November, a sinkhole appeared in a parking spot between another 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.

Also that month, two other sinkholes appeared on roads in Tel Aviv.

In September, a large sinkhole opened up on Ayalon Highway, shutting down the highway completely for hours and leaving a main exit shuttered for two weeks.

Last summer, a man was killed after the swimming pool he was in collapsed and he was dragged into a sinkhole that formed underneath.

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