Over half of the tunnels inspected by the ADAC in Italy, Croatia and Austria show weaknesses . During the 2020 tunnel test, the club examined 16 tunnels on important transit routes using visual inspections and distance measurements. The testers observed renovation measures in six of the tunnels tested.
Austria invested 5.6 billion euros
The ADAC found large differences between the countries and between the tunnels in the same country . The major investments of the past 20 years can be clearly felt in Austria. Thanks to the 5.6 billion investment, all examined tunnels in Austria meet the minimum requirements of the EU.
Two out of three tunnels meet standards in Croatia
In Croatia the tunnels are also largely solid. Only one of the three tubes inspected did not meet the standards: the Učka tunnel (pronounced Utschka), which is subject to tolls and operated in oncoming traffic. It is the shortest road connection from Rijeka to Istria. In the main season, over 6,500 vehicles drive through the tunnel - every day.
In addition to the failure to meet the standards, the ADAC complains that 'the breakdown bays are too far apart (1,750 instead of 1,000 meters), there are no emergency exits and there is a lack of external access for rescue workers.'
Italy still has a lot to do
Regarding safety, especially in the area of event management and self-rescue, according to the ADAC, Italian tunnels have major flaws. Only one inspected tunnel (Allocco) partially fulfilled the EU minimum standards. Seven more failed.
The ADAC has been testing important underground road connections in Europe for their safety since 1999 and evaluating them 400 tunnels in the last 20 years. A reaction to the catastrophic accidentsin the Tauern tunnel and Mont Blanc in the same year, which killed a total of 53 people. The European Union also responded in the following years with a directive from 2004, which obliged member states to implement defined minimum standards in their tunnels. They had ten years to do this, in exceptional cases such as Austria, Croatia and Italy 15 years - i.e. until April 2019. Some countries have not yet or not sufficiently complied with this requirement, which is why the European Commission initiated infringement proceedings against in October 2019 Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Croatia and Spain initiated.