About 100 people took part in the Polish Tunnel Forum held in Wroclaw on January 23rd. Poland is becoming one of the largest construction sites for such facilities in Europe.
The Polish Tunnel Forum was a new initiative of the Polish Road Congress. It is a response to the reported demand of the road construction market including investors, designers and road contractors. Such a great interest can be attributed to the fact that many tunnel investments were started in Poland, mainly on expressways leading to the southern border of the country. According to Mr. Jarosław Wąsowski, director of the Road Network Management Department of GDDKiA – the state agency in charge of national roads and motorways, the total length of tunnels on national roads after completion of these investments will amount to 26550 meters. In the tender phase there are projects involving the construction of two tunnels. More investments are being prepared, covering a total of 8 tunnels.
Event had international character, key speaker being Mr. Marc Tesson - the chairman of the PIARC Technical Committee for the operation of road tunnels.
The subject of his speech were the most important conclusions resulting from last year's conference in Lyon, organized by PIARC, regarding the operation and safety of road tunnels. Much attention has been devoted to new security challenges. They are related to the technological progress in ITS systems and their application to tunnel management, the dissemination of alternative driven cars (hydrogen, liquid gas, biodiesel or electric batteries), which may intensify the effects of possible accidents and fires. Among the questions that need to be answered are also the measures that reduce the risk how to organize maintenance treatments in tunnels with particularly high traffic volume and where there are no good detours.The Polish Tunnel Forum is meant to be an annual event organized every year in a different place, in cooperation with the Polish Road Administration. The first Forum was organized in Wrocław. In this region the longest road tunnel in Poland will be built in Stare Bogaczowice, with a length of 2,290 meters.