Karawanks Tunnel (motorway)

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Karawanks Tunnel
Karawankentunnel Oesterreich.jpg
Northern entrance, Austria
Location Sankt Jakob im Rosental, Carinthia, Austria/
Hrušica, Jesenice, Slovenia
Coordinates 46°31′09″N 14°01′22″E / 46.51917°N 14.02278°E / 46.51917; 14.02278Coordinates: 46°31′09″N 14°01′22″E / 46.51917°N 14.02278°E / 46.51917; 14.02278
Route Karawanken Autobahn/
A2 motorway
Work begun April 1987
Opened October 1991
Operator Autobahnen- und Schnellstraßen- Finanzierungs- Aktiengesellschaft (ASFiNAG)
Character Single-tube
Length 7,864 m (25,801 ft)
No. of lanes 2
Operating speed 80 km/h (50 mph)

The Karawanks Tunnel (German: Karawankentunnel, Slovene: Predor Karavanke or Karavanški predor) is a motorway tunnel crossing the Alpine Karawanks mountain range between Austria and Slovenia, with a total length of 7,864 m (25,801 ft) (4.89 miles), 8,019 m (26,309 ft) (4.98 miles) enclosure between the portals. Its construction began in 1986 and it opened on June 1, 1991. It connects the Austrian Karawanken Autobahn (A11) from Villach with the A2 motorway leading to Kranj and Ljubljana in Slovenia, decongesting the historic Loibl/Ljubelj and Wurzen/Korensko sedlo mountain passes.


Southern entrance, Slovenia

In the late 1970s it was planned by the Austrian Ministry of Traffic as a two-tube tunnel, (one two-lane tube for each direction), but lower than expected levels of traffic have meant that it has remained a single tube, single lane, two-way tunnel. The tunnel was built between 1987 and 1991 by the Tauern Autobahn stock company, represented by the Austrian state of Carinthia. At its opening it was one of the best equipped tunnels with safety and surveillance systems: emergency phones, fire detectors, video surveillance, traffic signalling, radio and phone connections, air circulation monitoring and carbon monoxide sensors.

Less than a month after its opening, in late June 1991, the Slovene terminus of the tunnel and its border post at Jesenice were briefly seized by an armoured detachment of the Yugoslav People's Army during the Ten-Day War. The site witnessed brief but intense fighting, which included the ferrying of reinforcements to the Yugoslav troops by helicopter and culminated in an ineffectual airstrike by the Yugoslav air force. The border checkpoint building was heavily damaged in the crossfire.[citation needed]

Since Slovenia has joined the Schengen Area by the end of 2007, border controls have been abolished. Due to increasing traffic volume especially after the completion of the second tube of the Tauern Road Tunnel in June 2011, congestions crop up, especially on weekends in the summer season, and have led to the resumption of plans to build a second tube. The contract for the second twin tunnel was signed in September 2015. Construction work is scheduled to start in early 2018, with an expected completion date of 2023.


Driving on Austrian as well as on Slovenian motorways requires a toll sticker. However, driving through the tunnel doesn't require any.[1][2] Instead, a special toll (2018 rate) of 7.20 euros[3] (20% VAT included) is imposed on drivers of vehicles up to 3.5 tons for using the tunnel. The toll is collected for the section from the closest on-ramp to the tunnel on the Austrian side to the Austrian/Slovenian border in the middle of the tunnel.[3] The Slovenian vignette is not required as the tunnel is not part of motorway sections with the mandatory use of vignettes.[2] The toll from the Slovenian side is also 7.20€.[4].

Vehicles over 3.5t (trucks, buses, motorhomes) pay toll on Austrian highways based on number of kilometres travelled. For the 10 km section that includes the tunnel a special rate equivalent to 8.6 times the normal one is applied, coming to 16.27-46.36 € incl.VAT (13.56-38.63 € + 20% VAT)[5] depending on number of axles and engine emission standard. Trucks entering from the Slovenian side pay toll no matter their EURO emission class.[4]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Tarife Sondermaut 2016" (in German). ASFiNAG. Retrieved 30 September 2016. Auf den Sondermautstrecken gibt es keine Vignettenpflicht 
  2. ^ a b "Vignette system". DARS. Retrieved 31 August 2017. If you drive from Austria through Kravanke tunnel in the direction of central Slovenia, the use of vignette is not mandatory till Hrušica junction. The toll for tunnel Karavanke is valid between first two junctions on the both sides of the state border (junction Hrušica in Slovenia and junction Rosenbach in Austria) 
  3. ^ a b "Special toll rates 2016". ASFiNAG. Retrieved 30 September 2016. The special toll route is between the St. Jakob im Rosental junction and the national border in the Karawanken Tunnel (Rosenbach toll station) 
  4. ^ a b "Karavanke tunnel". DARS. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "Toll rates 2016". ASFiNAG. Retrieved 2016-09-30.