Authorities in canton Graubünden have introduced measures to reduce the potential for accidents on the San Bernardino route.This content was published on November 2, 2001 - 12:09
The route is carrying much of the traffic that would have used the Gotthard tunnel before its closure last week.
Collisions resulting from the heavy traffic have forced the closure of the San Bernadino route twice since a devastating fire gutted the southern end of the Gotthard tunnel - Switzerland's main north-south axis - on October 24.
Traffic using the San Bernadino tunnel will be limited to one lane from Monday to prevent collisions of heavy trucks using the 6.6 kilometre tunnel, according to canton Graubünden's Department for Construction, Traffic and Forestry.
The one-lane policy will also be introduced in tunnels channelling traffic to the San Bernadino tunnel.
Under the new measures, truck drivers will also be forbidden to overtake other vehicles on certain stretches of the San Bernardino route, or A13, and they will have to maintain a minimum distance of 150 metres from other trucks.
Authorities from canton Graubünden say they will also coordinate with other cantons to receive regular traffic updates in order to control the flow of vehicles on its roads.
Efforts are being made to keep the tunnel open as long as possible during the winter months following the Gotthard's closure, which will involve keeping the roads clear of snow at all times and making it obligatory for drivers to put chains on their tyres.
Emergency services along the A13 are also being intensified because of the increased potential for accidents.
The Gotthard is likely to remain closed for five months, according to authorities.
swissinfo with agencies
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