Tauern Road Tunnel
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The Tauern Road Tunnel is located in the Austrian federal state of Salzburg in Austria on the Tauern Autobahn north - south connection between Germany and Italy and Slovenia. This is a toll road. The toll is 5 euros per car (so a journey costs 10 euros). This tunnel ranks as one of the longest frequently-travelled road tunnels in Austria.
The Tauern Road Tunnel in the Niedere Tauern (Low Tauern) region is a two bore tunnel. The first bore was completed in 1975 with total length of 6,401 metres. A second, parallel tube began construction in July 2006 and was officially opened with ceremony on 30. June 2011,. The northern entrance of the Tauern tunnels is at Flachau in the St. Johann district (Pongau region), while the southern entrance is at Zederhaus in the district of Tamsweg (Lungau). In 2004, the average daily traffic was 17,000 vehicles, a quarter of which were large goods vehicles and trucks (4,353).
Low Tauern has historically been a possible crossing point. The adit, which connects the Lands of the Federal Republic Salzburg and Steiermark, originates from the time when zinc, silver, cobalt and lead were mined. A more exact dating of the drift in the zinc wall is unfortunately not possible. The tunnel is only 300 m long and was made accessible by the Austrian Alpine Association.
On May 29, 1999 a fire took place in Tauern Road Tunnel in which twelve people were killed and fifty injured. Caused by a collision involving up to 60 individual vehicles, the incident occurred at 5 o'clock in the morning when a truck collided with a column of stationary vehicles waiting at a traffic signal.
As far as investigators could determine, eight people were killed by the force of the collision of the truck while four further victims died from the fire which followed. This was exacerbated by hazardous materials on one of the vehicles involved in the collision.
The tunnel was so badly damaged by the heat from the fire that it had to be closed for three months for repairs during which major work was undertaken to improve the barriers, tunnel walls and ventilation system. A memorial service for the victims of the fire was held in the town of Flachau before the tunnel - one of the primary north-south routes through the Alps - was officially reopened on August 28, 1999.
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