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January 23, 2020

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

World Tunneling Congress 2019 in Naples

Written by  May 10, 2019

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.

From May 6th to 8th, a series of lectures, seminars and workshops focused on the world of design and construction, in relation to works involving tunnels.

The International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association held its forty-fifth general assembly in Naples, sunday 5th and wednesday 9th, in conjunction with the World Tunnel Congress 2019, and was organized by ITA and the Italian tunnel society. 77 of the 78 Member Nations participated and represented at the General Assembly.

On Tuesday 7th May, an ITA COSUF – Operational Safety of Underground Transportation Facilities session, was held. A report from the two-day international Workshop on NEC (New Energy Carriers) in Road Tunnels, that took place in Utrecht earlier this year, was presented.

Other topics in the ITA COSUF session:

  • Operational Safety from First Responders perspectives
  • New IT Systems for Traffic Safety in Road Tunnels
  • Risk diagnostic & monitoring tools in road tunnels
  • Ventilation of tunnels and cross-passages of the Ceneri Base Tunnel and similar projects
  • Reducing the monotonous design in the word ́s deepest and longest sub-sea road tunnel Rogfast
  • Ventilation applied to fire safety in Metro Tunnels, Naples Line 1 Project
  • How to Refurbish a tunnel: Shop open or closed?
  • Civil engineering constraints on tunnel ventilation and safety

The congress itselves had an overall strong focus on engineering and construction topics, and the event is considered the most important congress on these topics.

Photos: Arild P. Sovik, Tunntech

The ITA have 22 Working groups, 4 committees and a technical network for young professionals and students. Many of these are known to contribute extensively to the industry.

The six strategies for the period from 2016 to 2020 are:

  1. Encourage member nations to actively develop and share technology, promote underground space and be active as a member nations in ITA
  2. Optimize the contribution of workgroups and committees through facilitating interaction with member nations and sponsors, encouraging synergies, and deploying modern communication practices
  3. Enhance interaction with industry
  4. Encourage further knowledge sharing through education and training
  5. Enhance tunnelling and underground space awareness
  6. Improve communication with member nations, industry and general public

Tarcisio Celestino, The ITA President, said the organisation are on track on implementing the strategic plan, first launched in the ITA Executive Council meeting held in Napa in 2016.

Mrs. Jinxiu (Jenny) Yan was elected for the president at the general assembly in Naples for the period 2019 - 2022, and is now responsible to fulfill the organizations goals for 2020. 


It was no coincidence that the city of Naples has been chosen to host the Congress. The city offers many historic examples of tunnels from as far back as Greek-Roman Antiquity and in recent years has demonstrated a significant capacity for using and enhancing underground spaces, adopting innovative solutions for excavation, and successfully combining archaeology, architecture and art in the award-winning Art Stations of the Neapolitan subway system. Toledo, Università and Garibaldi are just some of the most highly appreciated stations, glowing examples of how the combination of the Italian industry's construction know-how, the creative genius of international artists and architects, and the visionary capacity of a client such as the Metropolitana di Napoli, can guarantee a new and sophisticated reappraisal of the underground.


ITA COSUF is the Centre of Excellence for world-wide exchange of information and know-how regarding operational safety and security of underground facilities.


Last modified on Wednesday, 15 May 2019 08:17
Arild Petter Sovik

Editor, Tunntech Global News

E-mail:  arild.sovik@tunntech.no
Phone:  +47 950 88 793


News coverage based on many years of experience from key positions in the industry. Former National Tunnel Manager at the road authorities (NO), senior principal development manager at a major tunnel contractor company (NO) and experience from a wide number of activities in national and international networks. 


Website: www.sovikconsulting.no
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