The Arlberg Road Tunnel with a length of almost 14 kilometres is both, the longest road tunnel in Austria as well as the most important east to west connection between Tyrol and Vorarlberg. While construction works started in 1974, the tunnel with a project volume of about 4 billion of Austrian schillings has been opened for traffic not more than 4 years later. After more than 35 years in operation, the tunnel will be renovated from 2014 to 2017, whereby the focus is on an increased roadworthiness. The major constructional measures are the rebuilding of 8 emergency bays on the north side wall, 3 caverns for electromechanical equipment and a 14 kilometre escape and safety passageway via the supply air duct connected to the drive lane with 37 tunnels. Besides, a modern spray mist installation and an ultra-modern thermal scanner facility are built. Finally, the complete electro-technical equipment is going to be replaced.
The Arlberg Road Tunnel, which is part of the trans-European road network, is highly important for the region. It is the only connection between the federal states of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, which is passable the whole year round. Besides the fulfilment of the requirements of the "Vehicular Tunnel Safety Law" (STSG) by no later than 2019, a general renovation is required. Due to traffic numbers and forecast values the Arlberg Road Tunnel will further be operated as an "oncoming traffic tunnel" (recently, up to 8,000 vehicles pass the tunnel daily, while in 2025 more than 9,500 will be expected). After this general renovation, the Arlberg Road Tunnel will be the safest of its sort.
2 Project Overview
The concept for the escape passageways with distances of maximum 500 meters contains the existing escape tunnels between the railroad and the road tunnel, which have been constructed from 2004 to 2007, as well as 37 new escape tunnels, which mainly run to the supply air duct as semi-circular staircases. From there the escape passageways run either to the so-called collection caverns or directly outside the tunnel.