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· on the road
leptokurtic
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HAve they decided what to do in regard of renovation works of the San Gottardo tunnel? I remember reading of some ideas like keeping the Passo S. Gottardo opened year-round (except on days of very bad snow) for 3 consecutive winters while they close the tunnel for renovations.

I was carefully looking into the topography of that mountain pass, it doesn't look it would be that difficult, though there are 2 or 3 points where the avalanche risk would require the building of some artificial protection (those semi-tunnels that protect the roadway)
 

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Never heard about that. Is there any detailed information, e.g. a comparison with old and new numbering?
Around 400 km of roads (mostly but not necessarily motorways or autostrassen) will be handed over by the cantons to the confederation, and will thus get a new Nxx/Axx number (on official documents all are designated with an N, on everyday life 1st and 2nd class roads are called A).

Here a list: http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/gg/pc/documents/2262/Netzbeschluss_2012-12-10_de.pdf

For each setion is shown its class:

1st: motorway
2nd: autostrasse (like the A13 San Bernardino)
3rd: normal road (with flat junctions, but the fewest of them as reasonnable)

Note that each national road can be of different classes on different parts, but that only the 1st and 2nd levels will have a number in a red diamond.

Note also that the N2/A2 between Altdorf and Göschenen is 2nd class (as it is the Gotthard tunnel, obviously), and that the Gotthard pass road is also part of the N2 (as 3rd class), so between Göschenen and Airolo there are two roads called N2, the pass and the tunnel.

The list of all numbered roads (only for administrative purposes, no sign carries numbers above 30) can be found here:
http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/gg/pc/documents/2262/Durchgangsstrassenverordnung_Entwurf_de.pdf (available also in French and Italian, search for it in the links below)

More details:
Verordnungsänderungen im Rahmen der Anpassung des Bundesbeschlusses über das Nationalstrassennetz und zu deren Finanzierung
http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/gg/pc/pendent.html#UVEK
Modifications d’ordonnance dans le cadre de l’adaptation de l’arrêté fédéral sur le réseau des routes nationales et son financement
http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/gg/pc/pendent.html#DETEC
Modifiche di ordinanza relative all’adeguamento del decreto federale concernente la rete delle strade nazionali e al suo finanziamento
http://www.admin.ch/ch/i/gg/pc/pendent.html#DATEC

Have they decided what to do in regard of renovation works of the San Gottardo tunnel?
Most of the federal council want second tunnel (the left parties oppose it), and I'm not aware of any alternative plan if the second tunnel is rejected by voters (he referendum will likely next year). I really don't know if voters will approve or reject it, but it's sure that it is the last chance to double it before 2050. I think the opponents will prevail by a few points at the referendum, but who knows? What is sure is that Socialist, Green and Green Liberal parties voters (around one third of the electorate) will massively vote against the second tunnel, but also many citizens usually following the other political parties might not follow the ideas of their parties for one time. Partly because for example Swiss-French don't need this tunnel so they might choose to keep its money for other projects (maybe in the Romandie), partly because everyone knows that the EU will soon ask for a 2+2 tunnel, so that the referendum will also be a decision in favour or against the Alpen-Initiative, and thus the rail transport. And as Swiss citizens rarely oppose rail projects, they might oppose the road tunnel for that reason. But really...who knows? Some surveys says that the second tunnel would be approved, but people can still change their mind when they have to write "yes" or "no" on the paper, the day of the referendum.

If the second tunnel is rejected, the tunnel would be closed during the winter, with the pass road kept open as much as possible and two separate RoLa/RoRo train services, on the old rail tunnel for cars and motorbikes and in the new rail tunnel for the trucks. I don't know where buses would go.
 

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Yesterday the holiday traffic has been quite high.

By road, 15 km and 2 to 3 hours to cross the Gotthard (also because the pass is still closed), 1.5 hours to cross the San Bernardino.

By rail, 2 or 3 trains left Ticino every hour full of tourists and weekly commuters (some with standing passengers), each with between 9 and 14 coaches. However, only one out of five of these trains came from Italy, from where most tourists go by car or airplane as international train service sucks.

On Thursday the Gotthard queue was 10 km southbound.
 

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A2 stretch from junction A4/A2 at Emmen near Lucerne to exit Sursee (at Lake Sempach), 19km
May 2013

1. Arriving on A4 from Zurich, branching onto A2


2. 100km/h limit for some km's in force


3.


4. Regained 120km/h ....


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6.


7.


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9. Lake Sempach visible on the left, right above the median guard rail


10.


11. Exiting here for Sursee
 
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· on the road
leptokurtic
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Do you have some website/link for a historical table of opening and closing dates of Swiss road passes - or at least the major ones -? I find that information incredible difficult to find.

I managed to find some data for the old railway pass opening/close on the Furkapaß rail link pre-base tunnel, but not on the road passes there or elsewhere.
 

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No I don't. I only remember a few remarkable events, like the closure of the Novena/Nufenen pass a few years ago in July because of a snowfall, or when in 2001 it has been possible to keep the Gotthard pass opened until December (when the tunnel reopened after the fire).

Generally speaking, the closure of a pass is not dictated by its height or by the snowfalls, but by the danger of avalanches and the cost-benefit ratio of keeping it open (for instance it is not worth keeping open a pass if there is a road tunnel or a train shuttle below it).
 

· on the road
leptokurtic
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When I last traveled the Grimsel route, I noticed they have some disused avalanche sheds on what was likely the old route before they widened it in the 1960s. I walked to one of those and noticed no signs of it having been used in many years (like pavement with overgrown weeds).

I thin they probably used to keep that pass opened well into the winter before the Gotthard road tunnel opened in 1980. It would still provide a decent Bern-Ticino connection since almost all of the route is up to modern standards (wide enough at least). It would be nice if they kept the Grimsel and Neufen routes opened year-round.
 

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Some off-motorway driving: national road 25 from Lenzburg (AG) to Muri (AG)
May 2013

1.


2.


3.


4. "You are not blocked in the traffic. You are the traffic. " :D


5.


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7.


8.
 
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Today between 10h and 14h the A13 has been closed because of snow (more than 20 cm). San Bernardino pass road remains closed.
Is this typical in this time of the year? I understand the pass road being closed in May, but A13 too?

I've been planning to drive to south next week and have been concidering San Bernardino as one possible route, but perhaps I should think once more. If San Bernardino is closed, how does it affect the traffic at Gotthard? Maybe I'd even go via Geneva...
 

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Is this typical in this time of the year? I understand the pass road being closed in May, but A13 too?
I would say that a snowfall in May is not so strange, however local newspapers said that the A13 has been closed because most vehicles (especially trucks) were no more equipped for winter, and anyway the closure lasted for only 4 hours.
 

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The missing link of the A4 between the current terminus and the A2 will be built...at least partially and as an Autostrasse (1+1). Today AADT is 13.000.

The project evolved, from a single tunnel around 8 km long to two of 2.9 and 4.4 km, from a system with a separate safety tunnel to single bores with an escape route under the carriageway, from a construction in two phases (with the Sisikoner tunnel opening in 2017 and the Morschacher tunnel in 2022) to an opening of the complete route around 2024 (with a few months of difference between the two tunnels). The fourth of the Axen tunnels has been postponed indefinitely (between the Sisikoner and Flüeler tunnels). Construction will be carried from an intermediate access adit for the Sisikoner tunnel and likely from the northern portal for the Morschacher tunnel. Note that the Flüeler tunnel has a separate safety tunnel, but this has been built a few years later than the main tunnel.

The cost is 740 million CHF (600 million EUR).

The old Axenstrasse will be retained and given to the two cantons involved, together with the Mositunnel bypassing Brunnen (as far I know, the first road tunnel in Switzerland longer than 1 km, opened in the 50s or 60s). This means that there will be three roads to bypass Brunnen to go along the Axen mountain range: traversing the town, using the Mosi tunnel or using the Autostrasse.

This area is full of tunnels, beside the old and new roads there are also those of the Gotthard railway (the longest: 1.3+2.7+3.3 km) and the planned extension of the Gotthard base tunnel to 75 km.



Project website: http://www.axen.ch/

SRG SSR in German: http://www.srf.ch/news/schweiz/die-axenstrasse-wird-zur-grossbaustelle

SRG SSR in Italian: http://la1.rsi.ch/home/networks/la1...80cfe92&date=25.05.2013&stream=low#tabEdition
 

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Apparently according to Swiss laws or regulations (I don't know if they are mandatory), road tunnels longer than 5 km must have two tubes. That's why the tunnel planned in one of the variants for the A13 missing link has two tubes with one lane each, and probably one of the reasons that led to two tunnels separated by 200 m in the open air for the new Axenstrasse.

********************

The artificial tunnel part of the Poya bridge in Fribourg-Freiburg:

 

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Apparently according to Swiss laws or regulations (I don't know if they are mandatory), road tunnels longer than 5 km must have two tubes.
They also (partly) adopted the EU regulation about road tunnels requiring emergency exits in tunnels (the EU regulation says more than 1 km). This can be accomplished by double traffic tubes or a parallel emergency tunnel. Two one-lane tubes are of course safer than a two way tunnel with emergency tunnel as there will be no frontal collisions.
 

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Two one-lane tubes are of course safer than a two way tunnel with emergency tunnel as there will be no frontal collisions.
But it is also more expensive, I heard at least by 30%. Enough to make some projects unviable.

The are few examples of two single lane double tube tunnels: the planned second Tenda tunnel, the Airside Road Tunnel at Heathrow airport, and the combined tramway-bus tunnel in Seattle (the latter two closed to general traffic). Finally there will be the Fréjus tunnel, although it may end being a 2+1, two tubes tunnel. Are there others?
 
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