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, and more updates will come.
An important part of upgrades and rehabilitation of tunnels is to protect side area that represent a risk for collisions. The new SMA crash cushions from Automation Manufacturing Services ltd. prove that it is possible to produce space-saving solutions that are easy to install, reliable over time, maintenance friendly and provide a high degree of safety.
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.
Directive 2004/54/EC on minimum safety requirements for tunnels says the drainage of flammable and toxic liquids shall be provided for through well-designed slot gutters or other measures. In many cases the tunnel operator needs to find space saving solutions in a cross-section with a minimal space for drainage.
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.
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.