Federal Highway Research Institute

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Transport of dangerous materials in tunnels

With the update of the European Agreement concerning the International Transport of Dangerous Goods on Roads (ADR) in 2007, tunnel restriction codes for dangerous goods were introduced. Thereby, the basis for a standard Europe-wide regulation was created in the event of a restriction of transport of dangerous materials through roadtunnels.

Taking the EC Tunnel Directive 2004/54/EC and the Guidelines for Equipment and Operation of Road Tunnels 2006 (RABT) into account, a procedure was developed for Germany within the framework of a research project. The procedure allows a standardised evaluation the risks of hazardous goods for all road tunnels on basis of risk analyses and the identification of restrictions for hazardous goods transports based on defined tunnel categories.

Within the framework of the research project, a two-stage procedure was developed for categorisation. The individual stages are divided into two steps.

Stages and steps

In the first stage of the procedure a rough assessment takes place, followed by in-depth analysis in the second step. If the tunnel to be assessed cannot be allocated to category A (no restriction) in stage 1, stage 2 follows. Here, the dangerous goods risk to the tunnel is determined by means of in-depth analysis procedures and more exactly collected object specific input data. If the tunnel can also not be allocated to category A in this step, the dangerous goods risk is determined not only for the tunnel but also for a suitable alternative route in a further step.

As a result of the final step, a decision basis becomes available to the authority responsible for the categorisation of the tunnel: B, C, D or E. This includes an assessment of the dangerous goods risks, which arise from the relocation of the transport of dangerous materials to the alternative route.