The Mont Blanc Tunnel: specialized safety procedures !
The Mont Blanc Tunnel connects France and Italy beneath the highest summit in Europe. At 11.6 km long, The Mont Blanc Tunnel is more than a work of art: it is a formidable human and technological venture, a major axis for the local economy, a connector between people, and a model for safety around the world. Between 1959 and 1965, six years passed between starting work and the inauguration of the Tunnel.
An absolute priority, safety in the Mont Blanc Tunnel is achieved through constant innovation and the mobilization of nearly 250 people. A control and monitoring station handles traffic monitoring and manages safety procedures. To do this, it has a centralized technical management system that continuously analyses 35,000 pieces of data from the 157 cameras and thousands of sensors that equip the Tunnel (for example, 3,680 laser sensors just for temperature control). This device automatically detects any abnormal situation and allows Tunnel operators to control all the safety devices in a matter of seconds.
Did you know?
- 11 firefighters are present 24/7 at the two entrances and at the Tunnel centre.
- The tunnel firefighters have 4 Proteus vehicles, specialized fire response vehicles that are designed specifically for the Mont Blanc Tunnel. They also have a 12,000 litre water reservoir and 60 m hoses and are equipped with thermal cameras, the latest generation in radar to keep working regardless of visibility in the tunnel. Each vehicle represents an investment of 800,000 euros
Autoroute Blanche (A40) and Route Blanche (RN205): 60 bridges and viaducts, latest computer control software
Located in the heart of the mountain chain, the Autoroute Blanche (A40) and the Route Blanche (RN205) required the building of more than 200 engineering structures (bridges, viaducts, walls, etc.) and 4 tunnels that were less than 140 km - the quantities, locations, and thickness required special attention.Maintenance work, sanitation, renovations, security and safety drills are regularly scheduled to guarantee maximum safety.
In Bonneville (Haute-Savoie), the ATMB teams are equipped with the most up-to- date traffic control system, named Sierra, and are there 24/7 to guarantee safety and proper traffic flow.
For this, the computer operators rely on a centralized computer control system of more than 2,000 pieces of equipment spread over the Autoroute Blanche (A40) and the Route Blanche (RN205): lights, cameras, sensors for automatic incident detection, signals, etc.
The operators are responsible for viewing and managing traffic on the Autoroute Blanche (A40), Route Blanche (RN205), and the Vuache, Châtelard and Chavants tunnels.
They analyse data and video images, and direct all the safety procedures (for example, for fire fighting in tunnels). If necessary, they handle emergency calls and provide alerts for public emergency services.
They are also responsible for providing information on traffic conditions (lighted signs, Autoroute Info, etc.).
Did you know?
20,000 m2 of fences and barrier block screens were installed on three kilometres of the Egratz descent on the Route Blanche (RN205). Where rock hangs over the lanes, ATMB has built a 110 m-long protective barrier above the road. This “cap" prevents icicles and ice from forming on the road. These developments took three years to construct.