30 years of the Gotthard road tunnel Sci & Tech Lifestyle ... Print comment Share: share on twitter share on facebook send by e-mail more... Students from canton Ticino south of the Alps demonstrate in favour of the Gotthard road tunnel: "We do not want to be Swiss only in summer." (RDB) Göschenen in 1955. Until the tunnel opened in 1980 trains that carried cars were the only secure link between northern Switzerland and canton Ticino. (Keystone) Construction work in the Gotthard road tunnel - 1971. (RDB) The opening of the road tunnel on September 5, 1980, was enthusiastically celebrated by the people of Airolo. (Keystone) Trucks cross each other in the 16.91km-long tunnel. (Keystone) The Tour de Suisse cycling race, June 2000. In summer the old Gotthard Pass road, the so-called "Tremola", is a popular day's outing. (Keystone) Eleven people were killed on October 24, 2001, in a fire which broke out following a collision between two trucks. (Keystone) The wreck of a car one week after the accident. (Keystone) The control room at the southern end of the Gotthard tunnel, decorated for Christmas. (Keystone) "The Alps, Toilet of Europe". Demonstration in Airolo on December 21, 2001, against the Avanti Initiative, which called for the construction of a second tunnel. (Keystone) Traffic comes to a standstill near Wassen on May 5, 2005. (Keystone) Waiting in Amsteg on April 30, 2005. Sep 1, 2010 - 10:06 Emotions, a fire and traffic jams.The Gotthard Tunnel is the longest road tunnel in Switzerland and the third-longest in the world at 16.4km.