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The Saint-Gotthard Tunnel was Launched in Switzerland on September 5th 1980

The Saint-Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland was officially opened on Sept 5th in 1980. With an overall length of 16.9 kilometres, it was, for a long time, the world’s longest highway tunnel, before being surpassed by the Lærdal tunnel (24.5 km, Norway), as well as by the Zhongnanshan tunnel (18.02 km, China).

The explosion of the automobile and the desire for Italian holidays were the main motivating factors that led to the construction of this tunnel, which is part of the Swiss A2 highway. The section runs from Bâle, in the North, all the way to the Italian border, near Chiasso, in the South.

Unfortunately, the tunnel gained notoriety for horrible reasons: on October 24th, 2001, at 9h30 am, a head-on collision between two transport trucks, which caught fire, spread to surrounding vehicles. 11 people perished in the tragic event, which forced the closure of the tunnel for two months.

Transport regulations regarding weight limits were modified, and a complete makeover of the tunnel is planned between 2020 and 2025.

The Saint-Gotthard Tunnel
Photo: Wikipedia