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Seminar on road tunnels in low and medium income countries

The bi-annual seminar on 'road tunnels in low and medium income countries' co-hosted by Sanral and PIARC from 18-20 October 2017, is an opportunity to draw on knowledge and technical leadership from over thirty governments, worldwide and is, in itself, a huge benefit to growing the knowledge economy within South Africa.
The relevance of the seminar to South Africa is the focus on the Huguenot Tunnel and its 30th anniversary being celebrated early in 2018, discussions around the complexity of “tunnel operations” which would include success stories, safety concerns, milestones, challenges and the forward strategy in terms of the required maintenance and upgrades, and an opportunity for local professionals to draw from the discussions to sufficiently develop a model that will pave the next phase in road tunnels, not just within the Western Cape, but the whole of South Africa.

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The Huguenot Tunnel Project constitutes a major transportation link between the coastal plains of the Western Cape and the interior and is one of the most strategic infrastructure assets of the National Road network in South Africa. The 3.917km long tunnel reduces the distance between Paarl and Worcester by 11km and eliminates a climb of some 500m over the Du Toits Kloof Pass, which by its nature imposes severe constraints and safety concerns for the road user. The tunnel contributes significantly to the national economy in terms of savings in travel time and vehicle operating costs, and a reduction in accidents.

During 29 years of operations, it has served over 85 million vehicles. Having been estimated initially for 3% annual traffic growth for all categories of vehicles, the current growth rate in heavy vehicles is in the order of 18%.
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