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May 20, 2019

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

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.

Road authorities in South Africa are looking into how to renovate and improve operation and safety in the Huguenot tunnel, a 4 km single tube tunnel located at the national road (N1) near Cape Town. 

The successful past work of the Association in the area of road tunnel operations will be built upon by Technical Committee D.5 (Road Tunnel Operations).

The World Road Association is a non-profit association that promote international cooperation on issues pertaining to roads and road transportation. It consists of a wide range of members from every part of the globe. The core members are road agencies representing over 120 countries. The Association mobilizes the expertise its members to share and develop information for the benefit of the global transportation community, a mission that is grounded in the needs of member countries and supportive of larger trends in global society. It fulfils this mission through operations guided by a 4-year Strategic Plan.

The mission of the World Road Association is to serve all its members by being a leading international forum for analysis and discussion of the full spectrum of transport issues related to roads and related transport. Identifying, developing, and disseminating best practice and giving better access to international information, fully considering within its activities the needs of developing countries and countries in transition designing, producing and promoting efficient tools for decision making on matters related to roads and related transport.

The committee on tunnel operations will work in several working groups and deliver each reports on the subject. The working groups are:

  • Sustainable Operations
  • Safety
  • Human Factors & ITS
  • Ventilation & Emissions
  • Large Underground and Interconnected Infrastructure
  • Knowledge Management

The technical committee, which have been the mainstay of the Association’s work, remain the principal medium for study and development of knowledge products. Constituted for the full four years, the Committee execute work plans based on the parameters set by this Strategic Plan from the PIARC Council. Included in this is responsibility for convening international seminars as a mechanism for sharing information.

Weblink: https://www.piarc.org/en/ 

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