Austria’s Alberg Tunnel reopens on schedule for the winter, and now the Pyrenees’ Puymorens too after a mysterious postponing.
Also, an autoroute tribute to the Paris victims. More migrant trouble on Calais port access road. Boy crashes mum’s car at the Nurburgring while she waits in the car park. A new road toll for heavyweight truck goes live in Russia.
ARLBERG TUNNEL REOPENS BUT PUYMORENS POSTPONED
Semi-renovated Arlberg reopens on time but Puymorens hit by last-minute glitch.
The S16 Arlberg Tunnel in western Austria reopened for the winter, as expected, on Saturday.
Car drivers are now saved from the 1793m Arlberg Pass, above, which is very scenic on a nice day but not so great at night, or when in a hurry.
Truck drivers benefit in particular having previously had to detour via the fiddly B179 Fernpass, or Munich.
The tunnel, on the A12/S16 between Innsbruck and Bregenz, closed in April for the first half of a full, €160 million renovation.
There are now thermal scanners at each end for trucks, complete with cooling bays for vehicles found to be too hot.
Single-lane Arlberg now also has ‘rumble strips’ between the carriageways to rouse drivers who stray off-line.
The fans have been replaced and the drainage and fire water supply both renewed. A test 400m stretch of LED lighting has also been installed which could be extended to the tunnel’s entire 14km length.
Arlberg will close for another six month renovation in 2017, between mid-April and late September, to finish 37 seven new escape routes and eight more lay-bys, and the construction of a high-pressure spray system.
Meanwhile, however, the N20 Puymorens Tunnel in the French Pyrenees, on the direct route between Toulouse and Barcelona, skirting eastern Andorra, remains shut.
Right up until Thursday it was expected to reopen this weekend after a similarly length renovation this year.
The works are complete but some ‘administrative procedures’ are still outstanding reports La Depeche.
It is not clear if the delay has been caused by the Paris Attacks. Long delays were seen on N20 over the weekend due to new security checks.
A new opening date is expected to be announced today. More later.
Update 18 November 2015: Puymorens fully reopened at 15:00 local time today according to @VinciAutoroutes.
roundup: CALAIS MIGRANTS. Police reinforcements sent in from last Tuesday evening cut down then eliminated the protests by migrants, which had blocked the N216 access road at the port for three nights running. However, truck driver Colin Petts reported the N216 was blocked again overnight Friday/Saturday while P&O tweeted that N216 was blocked again on Sunday afternoon with traffic rerouted through the town centre. However, the latter incident was quickly cleared up. GERMANY. On the final day of the open tourist drive days at the Nurburgring yesterday, a sixteen year old boy crashed his mother’s Chrysler Crossfire halfway into his first lap, while she waited for him in the car park reports Bridge to Gantry.com. The pair had previously been stopped on the A61 autobahn at 215kmh in a 130kmh zone are were facing a €1260 fine and three month driving ban. RUSSIA. Truckers are not happy with the new toll for vehicles more than 12t. The new ‘Platon’ system – derived from the Russian for ‘pay per ton’ – went live yesterday (15 November) with a charge of around €0.02 per kilometre (1.53RUB/km) on 51,000km of federal roads. Angry hauliers set up road blocks in St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg last week according to Moscow Times. The new charges can be pre-paid, or logged by On-Board Unit (OBU). Register via the official English-language website at Platon.e100.eu, or see more information at DKV Benelux.