Huguenot Tunnel

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Huguenot Tunnel
Huguenot Tunnel entrance.JPG
North entrance to the Huguenot Tunnel
Overview
Official name Abdullah M Omar Tunnel
Coordinates 33°43′40″S 19°04′00″E / 33.727778°S 19.06667°E / -33.727778; 19.06667
Route N1
Crosses Du Toitskloof Mountains
Operation
Work begun 1984
Constructed Hochtief Construction AG
Concor Holdings.
Opened 18 March 1988
Technical
Length 3900 m
No. of lanes 2
Operating speed 90 km/h
Tunnel clearance 5 m

The Huguenot Tunnel is a toll tunnel near Cape Town, South Africa. It extends the N1 national road through the Du Toitskloof mountains that separate Paarl from Worcester, providing a route that is safer, faster (between 15 and 26 minutes) and shorter (by 11 km) than the old Du Toitskloof Pass travelling over the mountain.

History[edit]

View of new road into Huguenot Tunnel

An idea for a tunnel through the Du Toitskloof Mountains was conceived in the 1930s but was put on hold due to the outbreak of World War Two.[1] The idea developed into a pass over the mountains, the Du Toitskloof pass, using the labour of Italian prisoners of war between 1942 and 1945 and continued with ordinary labour until its completion in 1948.[1] Geological surveys and design started in 1973, and excavation followed in 1984, tunneling from both ends using drilling and blasting.

Construction[edit]

There was two phases to the tunneling, the first a pilot tunnel to examine the routes geographical obstacles.[1] The second phase bored a 5 m tunnel through granite rock as well as the construction of portals, drainage and ventilation tunnels.[1] The two drilling heads met with an error of only 3 mm over its entire 3.9 km length. The tunnel was finally opened on 18 March 1988.[1]

The tunnel is maintained by Tolcon, a subsidiary of the Murray & Roberts construction company.[2] The tunnel was constructed by Hochtief Construction AG and Concor Holdings.

Current plans[edit]

Currently the tunnel carries one lane of traffic in each direction. Plans are underway to open a second unfinished tunnel, the "northern bore", to carry eastbound traffic. This will allow for two lanes of traffic in each direction, with each tunnel carrying traffic in one direction only.[3][4]

In 2002, traffic peaks occurred during Easter (a record on 26 April 18 200 vehicles) and the December school holidays (12 000 vehicles per day).

Toll[edit]

The toll as proclaimed on 3 March 2017[5] was (in South African Rand):

  • Light Vehicles: R35,50
  • 2-axle heavy vehicles: R99,00
  • 3 and 4-axle heavy vehicles: R154,00
  • 5 and more-axle heavy vehicles: R250,00

The tunnel has 13 video cameras that feed into an automatic incident detection system, which can sound alarm devices for any of the following conditions:

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "The Huguenot Tunnel turns 25 this week". The South African National Roads Agency. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "Tolcon". Murray & Roberts. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Powell, Anel (8 September 2008). "Second tunnel for W Cape road link". Cape Times. Independent Newspapers. p. 1. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "Transport master plan may cost R750bn". Business Day. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "N1 TOLL ROAD TARIFFS". Foresight Publications. Retrieved 14 October 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°44′2″S 19°5′47″E / 33.73389°S 19.09639°E / -33.73389; 19.09639