Traffic Reopened in Both Directions at Ayalon

Drilling machine hits high power line, emergency fix required blocking of traffic in Tel Aviv's busiest highway, railway.

Gil Ronen ,

Ayalon traffic snarl.
Ayalon traffic snarl.
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Traffic was halted in both directions for 50 minutes on Ayalon Highways, the largest and busiest traffic artery in Tel Aviv, just as afternoon rush hour approached Thursday. Train traffic was also halted. The section directly affected was the one between the La Guardia and HaShalom interchanges. 

Traffic was flowing again a few minutes after 5:00 p.m. but was closed off again later for a short time.

The reason for the blockages was that a drilling machine hit a high voltage power line and the Israel Electric Company (IEC) was forced to request that traffic be stopped to enable emergency repairs.

The IEC's Dan District teams were called up to the location and were in the process of organizing and making preparations for fixing the damaged line by 3:30 p.m. The IEC said it would do everything it could to fix the malfunction as quickly as possible, but soon afterward announced that it had run into difficulties reaching the damaged section of its infrastructure and would be reopening the road to traffic.

After allowing traffic to flow for a while the road was again closed and this time, the mafunction was fixed. The highway was opened again, a short while after it was blocked off.

Anyone traveling to Ben Gurion Airport by train from stations north of central Tel Aviv was held up by the mishap, as were many of the people traveling to the airport by car.