Repairing and reopening the Gotthard tunnel could cost SFr11 million, according to the government of canton Uri.This content was published on November 27, 2001 - 12:09
The Uri government hopes to reopen the tunnel to cars, delivery vehicles and buses before the Christmas holidays. Trucks, on the other hand, will have to transit via other routes until new safety measures are taken in the tunnel, and the risks reduced.
These will include cargo traffic control and making structural changes to the tunnel, says Oskar Epp, head of the reconstruction. The Swiss cabinet is currently examining the exact terms of the tunnel's reopening.
The repair cost, revealed on Monday by the Uri government, does not include an additional SFr4 million needed to keep the Gotthard pass open during the winter.
The cantons Uri and Ticino, which are linked by the Gotthard tunnel, agreed that the pass should be kept open as long as possible during the winter. Traffic over the pass increased substantially after the closure of the tunnel, reaching a peak of 15,000 vehicles on some Sundays. Last Sunday, 3,000 vehicles crossed the pass.
Besides setting off avalanches artificially to prevent a build-up of snow above the roads, hauling away snow and salting the road, authorities have also begun controlling cargo traffic over the pass to prevent accidents.
swissinfo with agencies