Tel Aviv's Hashalom Interchange has remained closed for 10 days now due to a sinkhole, and authorities are unsure of an exact reopening date for the new ramp on the southbound lanes of the bustling Ayalon Highway.
Sinkholes are relatively rare in central Israel and the swallow hole was apparently caused by construction work at the nearby Azrieli Spiral Tower. No one was harmed in the incident.
While Ayalon Highways and Azrieli Group - the corporations funding the construction - are claiming that the interchange should be reopened within the next few days, a final reopening date is pending a joint assessment that was due to be completed on Wednesday.
Hashalom Interchange is one of the busiest intersections in Israel's densely populated center and one of the main arteries leading to and out of its economic and cultural capital Tel Aviv. Its closure has significantly exacerbated the area's infamous congestion problem.
Many drivers who rely on the route to enter Tel Aviv regularly are growing increasingly frustrated with the long repair time.
Immediately after the appearance of the sinkhole, Ayalon Highways said it believed the road would reopen within 72 hours. However, after running tests in the area, authorities were forced to put off the reopening despite the hole having been covered within less than 24 hours.
Authorities were running thorough testing and monitoring the road section to ensure its structural integrity. Tests were also carried out across other sections of the road out of an abundance of caution.