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January 28, 2020

 Road tunnels and technology in an operational perspective
Arild Petter Sovik, Tunntech Global News

International experts from The World Road Association (PIARC), The International Tunnel Association Committee on Safety in Underground Facilities (ITA-COSUF) and in total over 300 experts from all over the world came together last week in Lyon to discuss road tunnel operations and safety. Among other important topics, leading experts are concerned about lack of research on risk and danger related to new energy carriers in underground facilities and call for actions from authorities and responsible bodies. 

The STUVA conference had over 1,900 participants registered before the event, and over 200 exhibiting companies at the STUVA Expo. In total, more than 3,500 participants, stand personnel and Expo visitors where present on the STUVA Conference this year. I'm impressed of how well organised the event is, and also the quality of the lectures. 

29 - 30 November 2017, Bergen, Norway                                            

The regional tunnel seminar is a cooperation between fire departments and the road authorities in the west coast of Norway, and have a focus on tunnel fires, how to prevent fires and how to minimise the consequences.

On the ITA COSUF technical session, the president of PIARC´s Technical Committee D.5 (Road Tunnel Operations) Marc Tesson, presented briefly the technical reports in the field of tunnel safety. He emphasized that operational topics is the most important prerequisite for constructing a underground structure. The topics large underground structures and interconnected infrastructures, cases studies, fixed fire fighting systems and BIM during refurbishment of road tunnels was explored by different tunnel experts from all over Europe. 

His Royal Highness Crown Prince of Norway opened the World Tunneling Congress 2017 Monday the 12th of June. The theme of the congress was "Surface Challenges – underground solutions". Tunnels bind Norway together and that is all certainly true. 

On the 13th of June 2017 the ITA COSUF Workshop on New Security Challenges for Design and Operation took place. This workshop was organised as part of the World Tunnelling Congress 2017 in Bergen. The audience consisted of ITA COSUF members and many delegates from the conference. A definitely success when it comes to the quality of the presentations and the interests from the members and the delegates from the World Tunnelling  Congress.

The Road Director General in Norway, Terje Moe Gustavsen, opened the conference by saying "Norway want to be at the forefront internationally and will focus on measures and solutions with special Norwegian/Nordic challenges". This speach opened up a conference with many high quality presentations and a great arena for networking. The Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster’s (NTSC) unique approach brings together tunnel operators and owners, policy makers, fire and rescue services with researchers and the tunneling industry to spark innovative solutions to improve tunnel safety, is the message from the organisers at this conference in Stavanger, Norway. 

The seminar road tunnels in low and medium income countries gathered experts from all over the world, in addition to local contractors, consultants, and public bodys in Africa. The three day event in Cape Town addressed both technical and management issues, and international knowledge and experience was presented by both national and international speakers. The delegates got also the opportunity to visit the Huguenot tunnel in Cape Town, a great case study for discussions about remediation, safety measures and operational issues.

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