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July 15, 2019

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

In order to promote the latest knowledge on current key issues and to facilitate technical discussions and debate amongst industry stakeholders, PIARC and its French National Committee are pleased to announce that they are organising their first "International Conference on Road Tunnel Operations and Safety".

The theme of The Tunnel Safety Officers forum 17th – 18th May 2018 is From historical events to future trends and the main purpose is to review the aspects of the Tunnel Safety Officers (TSO’s) role by sharing good practices and lessons learned.

Encourage the member nations to take a stronger part in the ITA work, optimize the contribution from the organisation, enhance interaction with industry, sharing through education and training, enhance awareness and improve communication, are the six goals that have been identified to fulfil the International Tunnel Association`s (ITA) mission. 

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.

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/ 

Centre of Excellence offers worldwide network for safety and security of Public Transport Underground Facilities. It is well established that the topics of each ITA COSUF organized event are the first choice of the newest developments. ITA-COSUF gather high-professional speakers which present case studies and report on the newest knowledge. The latest successful meeting was the workshop in Bergen at the World Tunnelling Congress (WTC 2017). 

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