800-ton rock blown up in South

Controlled explosion aims to minimize danger on Eilat-Negev road.

Mitzpe Ramon blast 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Mitzpe Ramon blast 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
An 800-ton rock was blown up in the Negev on Tuesday morning as the National Road Company, in cooperation with the Tamar excavation company, cleared out a 40-meter-high cliff between Eilat and Makhtesh Ramon.
The monitored explosion was necessitated due to fears that a minor earthquake or turbulent weather would cause the rock to tumble and roll down to the road. As a preventive measure, the Tamar company was contracted to demolish the rock.
The rock was discovered to be fractured after a particularly rainy period this winter past, when the National Road Company checked the area for damage. Further inspection by engineers showed that demolishing the rock by use of explosives would be the best way to contend with the dangers it posed without causing additional damage to the road.
“This is a complex endeavor that requires precise and delicateworkmanship. The explosion will be triggered at 60 different pointsthroughout the rock's surface, in order to create a controlleddisintegrated and minimize damage to the cliff and road,” Tamar companyCEO Boaz Hayun remarked of the project.
The road was closed off to vehicles in both directions during theexplosion, and hikers were prohibited from walking near the site.