Namir Road
Namir Road Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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Over half a kilometer of the northbound lanes of a major Tel Aviv artery will be closed until mid-September due to replacement of the water main that runs under the road.

The work is expected to cause major traffic tie-ups along about 600 meters of two lanes of Namir Road, between Yitzhak Dori and Shlomo Goren streets, under which the pipeline runs.

The intersection of those two streets with Namir will be shut down intermittently while the work is underway. No disruptions of water supply to homes in the area are expected.

The estimated cost of the project, to be carried out by the Tel Aviv municipal water company, Mei Avivim, is NIS 7 million. Work will include replacement of sections of pipes that are more than 50 years old and at risk of bursting.

In 2011, a water main burst near Namir's junction with Arlosoroff Street, shutting down the intersection for a some 36 hours and causing huge traffic jams.

Mei Avivim's CEO, Yiftach Naor, says that out of a total of 50 kilometers of deteriorating pipes throughout Tel Aviv, 19 kilometers still need replacing. Both funding and concerns over traffic jams have made replacement of pipelines a gradual process that is taking several years.

Naor said Mei Avivim replaces pipelines as needed based on their age and condition. "We especially replace the old lines so as to prevent more bursts of water mains like there have been in recent years. The older they are and the closer they are to main arteries, the sooner we want to replace them," he said.

In the coming years Naor said that pipelines which are less at risk will also be replaced.