Road Tunnels Manual

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Operation and maintenance

Without efficient operation and maintenance, it is not possible to guarantee the safety of road tunnel users and an acceptable tunnel life cycle cost.

Operation and maintenance activities can be divided into three main streams of activity:

  1. Daily management: this stream includes all activities to monitor traffic and to cater for an efficient functioning of all equipment during normal operations and in the case of an emergency, to ensure the proper functioning of all structural and electro-mechanical installations.
  2. Staff Training: this is normally a multi-organisation task, considering that normally not only the operator, but also traffic police, fire services and other emergency services need to cooperate to deliver an acceptable level of safety in road tunnels. It includes basic staff training, exercises, etc.
  3. Continuous improvement of safety: this includes all planning and analysis actions that aim to continuously improve tunnel safety (emergency planning, feedback of accidents/incidents, replacement of tunnel equipment, etc.).

Efficient operations and a cooperative environment among different stakeholders in charge of tunnel and emergency management clearly underpin the safety and comfort of users and operators both in normal operations and in the event of an incident.

In Europe, Directive 2004/54/CE on "Minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the trans-European road network" clearly states that safety is not only related to structural elements and equipment. This European directive identifies and describes the specific roles and responsibilities for the different entities involved in operation and maintenance activities for a road tunnel..

The present chapter is broken down into four sub-sections:

Reference sources

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