Their remodeling effort—that is, lowering the floor—stopped at Warren’s Shaft. When they discovered the shaft, they changed their original plan, whatever that was. Once the shaft was discovered, the excavators realized that they could use it to draw water. The planners, therefore, stopped working on the original plan, and developed an alternative one that incorporated the shaft. The sudden cessation of all work precisely following the discovery of the shaft seems to indicate that this discovery was the reason for stopping.

Reich and Shukron do not have a good explanation for why the enlarging work suddenly stopped at Warren’s Shaft. They have suggested that the work was abandoned because the excavation of Hezekiah’s Tunnel made it unnecessary. Though it is not impossible that the shaft was discovered just as the engineers decided to abandon all work on Hezekiah’s Tunnel, this suggestion is very problematic. The creation of Hezekiah’s Tunnel was a very difficult enterprise, with no warranty of success. It is extremely unlikely that the engineers would neither use the shaft nor continue their original operation, at least in tandem with the work on Hezekiah’s Tunnel, until the latter was successfully completed. The suggestion that the chance discovery of the shaft occurred exactly when the tunnel was finished seems too fantastic, and extremely unlikely, especially when we recall that a tunnel was dug to connect the bottom of the shaft with the spring. See Reich and Shukron, “Light at the End of the Tunnel,” BAR 25:01, and Reich and Shukron, “The System of Rock-Cut Tunnels Near Gihon in Jerusalem Reconsidered,” Revue Biblique 107 (2000).