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(Automatic translation)

Road tunnels during the winter. maintenance and operating problems

Rafael Lopez Guarga
Chief Engineer
Demarcation of State Highways in Aragon
Ministerio de Fomento


Steps resolve hilly roads through tunnels at high altitudes. From 1.000 meters above sea level, it is necessary to ensure maintenance measures on the road to ensure the road by the risk of snow and ice formation. In the tunnels is critical the starting area.

In the northern province of Huesca, with numerous tunnels over 1.100 meters, there have been a number of factors to consider with temperatures reaching below zero 20º.

Water is the most difficult enemy: leaks that may occur due to low temperatures, produce cracks and even landslides in vaults and gables.

In the firm access and signage become important as the quality of their performance and durability. Should apply high quality materials, since the passage of snowplows and extreme weather readily deteriorate.

Fulfilling the RD 635 / 2006, transposition of the European Directive on minimum safety requirements in tunnels 2004 / 54, there are various elements at risk of freezing and therefore fail to faults or if necessary use.

Overhead electric connections are subject to ice formations causing micro-cuts, demanding maintenance of UPS and generators. Deposits supplying fire networks must care for finishing the walls, to avoid cracks. There should water circulation.

Water circuits should calorifugarse and preferably keep them unloaded. The teams EOL, hydrants and BIES may suffer in the stopcock. Pump rooms must maintain temperatures above 0º.

It is necessary to protect facilities that serve as admission chimney-expulsion gas can obturarlas snow. Care should be taken snowpack in emergency exits.

Vehicles operating and intervention should take care of their maintenance. It should address protection of engines, fuel and water tanks, using proper antifreeze.

As for the operating staff must consider the difficulties in the relief and clothing must cover both thermal and waterproof appearance and high visibility.


winter maintenance, Tunnel, Safety, Maintenance, Operation, Snow, Ice, Variable Message Panel PMV Conservation.

Spanish Road Association
Goya, 23 - 4º Right.
28001 - MADRID (Spain)
Tel .: (34) 91 5779972
Fax: (34) 91 5766522
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