Tel Aviv traffic snarled by infrastructure work
Massive traffic jams snarled Tel Aviv yesterday due to work on water mains under two major traffic arteries. The bottlenecks are expected to continue for several weeks.
Most of the intersection between Yitzhak Sadeh and Hamasger streets has been closed since Sunday evening, and will stay that way until Thursday. In addition, since last week, two northbound lanes of Namir Road have been closed for most of the day between Yitzhak Dori and Shlomo Goren streets, and that will continue until mid-September. The intersection of Namir and Yitzhak Dori will also be closed sporadically.
At the intersection of Yitzhak Sadeh and Hamasger streets, the Mei Avivim corporation is replacing a valve and upgrading the main, which supplies water to south Tel Aviv. On Namir Road, it is replacing a 600-meter section of the main.
The work isn't expected to disrupt Tel Aviv's water supply, but the company warned in advance that traffic jams were likely and advised drivers to take alternative routes.
As predicted, massive bottlenecks occurred at both work sites yesterday. Drivers complained that getting through the intersection of Yitzhak Sadeh and Hamasger streets, which normally takes just a few minutes, seemed to take forever. They also complained that neither the municipality nor the water corporation had provided accurate information about the expected problems. Bus passengers complained that the bus companies similarly failed to inform customers about expected changes in their routes.
Mei Avivim CEO Yiftach Naor told Haaretz that the company is replacing the mains in an effort to prevent additional burst pipes like those that have shut down traffic for hours in previous years. Nevertheless, he admitted, it will be years before all the mains at risk of bursting are replaced, due to both funding constraints and a limit to how much the public will stand for traffic being disrupted.
Asked why the company is carrying out repairs under two main traffic arteries at once, Naor said this decision was made in consultation with the police and the municipality, because in August, many people are on vacation and traffic is lower than usual.