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Igudan, the Dan Regional Association for Environmental Instrastructure, will hold an inauguration ceremony today for the launch of work on a massive, new sewage pipeline under the Ayalon Highway today. The new pipeline, estimated to cost NIS 660 million, is designed to prevent sewage leaks from flooding the highway and the nearby railway line.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai are to take part in today's ceremony.

About six months ago Igudan inspectors found cracks in the 50-year-old sewage pipeline that could cause massive sewage leaks, which could in turn flood the highway and railway line. Fixing the cracks in the existing would have required rerouting traffic for an extended period of time.

The new line will begin near Yarkon Park in north Tel Aviv and run underneath the highway to the Hiriya landfill, south-east of the city. The work, which is expected to take three years, will be carried out by a foreign contractor and an Israeli subcontractor.

The new line as well as an additional pipeline from the east of the Dan region will upgrade the sewage system of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and make it possible to lay another railway line along the Ayalon Highway, along a route that is currently at risk of sewage flooding.

Igudan is also planning a large drainage system in the open area adjacent to Hiriya, that would serve as a large water reservoir. Together with the completed sewage lines, this is expected to significantly reduce recurring sewage flooding into the Ayalon River and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the frequent flooding experienced by certain southern Tel Aviv neighborhoods during and after rainstorms.