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October 15, 2019


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

Tunnels represents the most challenging part of an road infrastructure when it comes to the complexity of construction, technical infrastructure and technical facilities. But how should the road owner design, build, operate and manage the infrastructure to make sure that vulnerable parts of the road network remain reliable, available at all time, maintenance friendly for the operators and safe for the road users. A new trend defined as "Industry 4.0" is the current development of automation and data exchange in technologies, and can be a benefit for efficient management of construction and technical facilities, but requires efficient use of digital information from the beginning in early design throughout construction and operation. 

A new version of the DG QRAM software (Quantitative Risk Assessment Model for the Transport of Dangerous Goods in Road Tunnels) has just been published. This PIARC software is currently under development and a new update has been released.

The World Tunneling Congress 2019 opened officially on Monday May 6th, with the Opening Ceremony, but thematic courses and international teams started to work May 3rd.

The official program is distinctive in the way it highlights the many connections between the world of tunnelling and the disciplines that until now have been considered unrelated to the field. A special Triple-A sessions - Archaeology, Architecture and Art are examples of such topic, and is followed up with a special visit to see the Tunnel Borbonico, the ancient underground tunnel commissioned in 1853 and just recently restored.

In March the Italian delegation invited to an Italian PIARC conference, discussing Temporary alternative measures for tunnel safety.

Society is built on standards, and standards promote innovation! When everyone in the industry uses the same starting point - a common standard - then good practice can be implemented more easily, which in turn makes it easier to build our society in a safe, sustainable and profitable way. 

This conference focused on tunnels as a vital links in any transportation network. Short periods of closure for maintenance or repairs always generate nuisance. Long periods of closure for renovations will logically lead to severe congestions. For too long, the tunnel community has accepted this nuisance and chaos as a natural side effect of tunnel operations. Should we accept this?  

In Stavanger, Norway, 18. - 19. June 2018 ​will The Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster bring together tunnel operators, policy makers, fire and rescue services, researchers and the tunnelling industry to spark innovative solutions and methods to improve tunnel safety (Conference Website and Conference Registration)

Experts from businesses and public bodies from all over the world use the well-known Hagerbach Test Gallery in Switzerland to perform research, development, testing and full-scale experiments. The VersuchsStollen Hagerbach AG facilitate cooperation between companies, associations and research institutes, to improve construction, operation and safety of tunnels with a professional approach.

Operation and maintenance is important to ensure the value of assets over time. Furthermore, it is important to be able to manage the cost over time, and not least, ensure that construction and technical installations do not adversely affect safety.

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