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January 28, 2020

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

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 week, The Norwegian Tunnel Safety Cluster (NTSC) promoted their new initiative, The Norwegian Tunnel Safety Certification. This is a initiative that aims to improve standards for planning, building and operating tunnels, but also improve standards for structural elements and installations including infrastructure, ventilation, lighting, signs, safety equipment, control, monitoring and future Intelligent Transportation Systems.  

There is strong political support in the European union to take action on serious injury. In 2010 the Council of the European Union underlined the urgent need to address serious injuries, supporting the development of a common definition and agreeing to the principle of a specific quantitative target.

The purpose of the study was to test different characteristics of evacuation light. The study was carried out in a 40 foot long container and the fixtures were mounted approx. 1 meter above the floor and the study is based on a visual experience of the different light sources, and is considered a preliminary study of performance of evacuation lighting in tunnels.

Heavy vehicles are overrepresented in the statistics of fire in Norwegian road tunnels, and this is especially true for tunnels with a steep climb. Technical problems was a more than twice as frequent cause of fires and instances of fires in heavy vehicles, than in light vehicles says the Institute of transport economics, Norwegian Centre of Transport Research. 40% of the fires in tunnels happens in tunnels with higher gradient than 5%. 

A road is a unique linear infrastructure generally in open terrain and sometimes in closed environment like tunnels. It´s important to have a uniform approach to the infrastructure safety management outside and inside tunnels. This is the conclusions the European Commission received from the research and development project ECOROADS. 

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