Work on several stretches of the A8 in the Bernese Oberland

The main focus of the “Bernese Oberland Tunnel Safety” programme will be on the stretch of the A8 between Interlaken-Ost and Brienz. As part of a comprehensive maintenance project, commencing in 2021, tunnels along this stretch are to be renovated and equipped with emergency galleries. Renovation work has also been carried out or is planned for other stretches.

Construction of safety gallery in the Giessbach tunnel

Safety galleries on the left-hand side of Lake Brienz

In the initial stage, the three tunnels on the left-hand side of Lake Brienz were equipped with additional galleries in a project implemented between 2014 and 2018. A safety gallery running parallel to the main tube was constructed in the 3.3-kilometre Giessbach tunnel and the 1.3-kilometre Chüebalm tunnel, while the relatively short Sengg tunnel (0.9 kilometres) was equipped with an escape gallery leading laterally from the centre of the tunnel to the exterior.

Maintenance project between Interlaken-Ost and Lake Brienz

The maintenance project itself will be initiated in 2021. One of the main focuses of this project is the renovation of the longest tunnel in the Bernese Oberland, namely the Giessbach. Here, the existing ventilation system has to be brought into line with the latest requirements. Other measures will include the renovation of bridges and other engineering structures, as well as road surfaces.

Work on the Interlaken-Ost to Brienz stretch of the A8 will be highly intensive. However, the fact that construction work will primarily be carried out at night will ensure that the impacts on daily traffic flow can be kept to a minimum.

Safety galleries for other tunnels

In addition to the stretch along the shore of Lake Brienz, the “Bernese Oberland Tunnel Safety” programme encompasses various other elements. For example, the Simmenfluh tunnel on the A6 has meanwhile been equipped with an escape gallery. Emergency galleries are also currently being constructed in the tunnels on the A8 in Leissigen and Brienzwiler (Soliwald tunnel). These two projects will be completed by 2022 and 2020 respectively. In addition to the construction of galleries, various safety measures have been implemented in the Lütschinen underpass and the Rugen tunnel.