Thousands Expected to Show Up for Tel Aviv Bridge Demolition

But authorities may postpone demolition of Maariv bridge, which is being removed to make way for light rail network, out of fears for onlookers' safety.

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Business owners demonstrate against construction of light rail network, under the Maariv Bridge, August 12, 2015.
Business owners demonstrate against construction of light rail network, under the Maariv Bridge, August 12, 2015.Credit: Moti Milrod
Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior

Tel Aviv’s Maariv Bridge had been scheduled to come down in a giant explosion sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning next week, as part of the construction of the light rail network, but the police have not issued permits yet for the operation amid concerns that thousands of curious onlookers will congregate nearby. In any event, the intersection beneath the 39-year-old flyover closed close at 8 P.M.on Wednesday, as planned.

Police said on Wednesday the bridge’s controlled demolition has not been set.

“In light of the mass interest in the demolition of the bridge and the expectation of large crowds, discussions are underway between NTA and the police to look into another date for the demolition. We all want to avoid as much as possible disruption to the public and we will do everything possible to maintain public safety during the work on the light rail,” NTA, the company building the network’s red line, said in a statement.

The bridge is to be demolished by attaching explosives to the bases of its support columns. The explosion is expected to last a few seconds and the debris will be removed within two days.

New traffic arrangements will come into force at 6 A.M. Friday, with all private vehicles barred from the intersection.

Work at the intersection is scheduled to continue for six and a half years. It will include the construction of an underground station for the first line to be built (the Red Line, from Petah Tikva to Bat Yam), as well as a station for the Green Line (Herzliya Pituah to Rishon Letzion). After the stations are built a traffic tunnel will be excavated underneath Menachem Begin Road, going from Yitzhak Sadeh Street to Lincoln and Carlebach streets.

Starting tonight, the only access to the intersection for private cars will be from Yitzhak Sadeh Street, turning right onto Begin. Drivers will then have make another right onto Hamelakha Street, which will become one-way from Begin to Hamasger Street. Hata’asiyah Street will become one-way in the opposite direction, from Hamasger to Begin. A left turn will be permitted from Hamelakha to Hamasger, and a right turn from Begin to Nahmani Street. In addition, there will be no vehicle access to the intersection from Carlebach and Lincoln streets, where a U-turn will be permitted.

Maariv bridge.Credit: Moti Milrod
Maariv bridge.Credit: Moti Milrod
Maariv bridge.Credit: Moti Milrod
Maariv bridge.Credit: Moti Milrod
Maariv bridge.Credit: Moti Milrod

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