SPIE modernises tunnel systems and safety technology on Austria's important north-south transit route

Published on 21 June 2024

Golling an der Salzach, Austria, 21 June 2024 SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has been commissioned by the Austrian company ASFINAG(1) to upgrade the electrical equipment for five tunnel systems and the adjacent open spaces across a total of 14 kilometres of the A10 Tauern motorway between the municipalities of Golling and Werfen in the federal state of Salzburg. In order to maintain the flow of traffic on one of Austria's most important north-south transit routes, the work is taking place alongside moving traffic and is expected to finish in 2025.

Expertise required for multi-technical services

The experts from the Austria operational division at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa are responsible for the complete overhaul of the electrical equipment in the tunnels and the adjacent open spaces, while partner companies in the joint venture are carrying out the necessary renovation of the concrete structure. The project calls for extensive expertise in multi-technical services: SPIE's tunnel and traffic technology specialists are replacing the operational and safety equipment in a total of five tunnel systems in the adjacent open spaces and in the associated service buildings. The renovation encompasses the tunnel and street lighting, including the necessary distribution systems and structures such as piping work and support systems. SPIE is also upgrading the tunnel ventilation systems and the traffic management infrastructure. The project involves replacing all tunnel technology and upgrading it to reflect the current state of the art. "By the time the project has been successfully completed, which is scheduled for summer 2025, we will have replaced 500 distribution cabinets, 2,500 tunnel lights, 64 jet fans and 100 emergency call points. The new cable installations will have a total length of around 800 kilometres," summarises Thorsten Dembowski, Site Manager at SPIE Dürr Austria from the Austria operational division.

Digitalisation for greater safety

New information transmission and processing in conjunction with state-of-the-art sensor technology, such as air quality monitoring, will enable a high degree of digitalisation once the project is complete, resulting in efficient monitoring and a lightning-fast response to major incidents such as accidents or fires. SPIE's automation routines ensure not only that road users are safe at all times, but also the reliable digital transmission of measurement data as well as audio and video signals from the tunnels to the tunnel control centre. Other safety equipment includes emergency power supplies, hazard alarm systems, public address systems, extinguishing and waste-water facilities and radio systems.

Working alongside moving traffic

As an important transit route, the Tauern motorway needs to remain open for the duration of the project. SPIE is accommodating this by carrying out the work alongside moving traffic. "The intense workload within a short construction period poses major challenges in terms of scheduling. That is why we are working together with our partners in the joint venture to develop coherent work packages covering two weeks at a time as part of our independent production and installation planning," says Thorsten Höfer, Project Manager at SPIE's Austria operational division. To achieve this, the company is relying on a positive team mentality, experienced staff, a dialogue with the client based on trust, and reliable partner companies. Previous projects have always been based on productive collaboration with partners in the joint venture.

"We greatly appreciate our close and long-standing partnership with ASFINAG, which has been in place since 2001. This project is an important contribution to the safety of road users on the Tauern motorway," says Andreas Christandl, Member of the Management Board of SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa and Head of the Austria operational division.

(1) ASFINAG, a company owned by the Austrian state, is responsible for the planning, financing, building, maintaining, operating and collecting tolls on motorways and expressways.