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 commenced in 2021, tunnels along this stretch are renovated and equipped with emergency galleries. Renovation work has also been carried out or is planned on other stretches.

 Safety gallery of the Giessbach tunnel
Construction of the safety gallery in the Giessbach tunnel

Emergency 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 kilometres long Giessbach tunnel and the 1.3 kilometres long 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 Brienz

The maintenance project itself has started in 2021. One of the main focus 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 include the renovation of bridges and other engineering structures as well as road surfaces.

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

Emergency 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 been equipped with an escape gallery. An escape gallery was also built in the Soliwaldtunnel on the A8 near Brienzwiler. It was completed at the end of 2020. Work is still in progress on the safety gallery for the Leissigen tunnel. The opening is scheduled for 2022. In addition to the construction of galleries, various safety measures have been implemented in the Lütschinen underpass and the Rugen tunnel.