St. Gotthard Tunnel Closed Due To Crack In Ceiling

The St. Gotthard road tunnel, a major transportation artery between northern and southern Europe, has been closed due to a crack in the ceiling.

The crack, which is about 25 meters long, was discovered on Sunday afternoon. No one was injured, but the tunnel was closed in both directions as a precaution.

The Swiss Federal Roads Office (ASTRA) said that the cause of the crack is not yet known, but it is likely due to stress on the tunnel's structure. ASTRA is investigating the matter and will make repairs as needed.

The closure of the St. Gotthard tunnel is causing major traffic disruptions. Motorists are being diverted to the San Bernardino Pass and Gotthard Pass, which are both longer and more winding routes.

ASTRA said that it is not yet possible to say when the St. Gotthard tunnel will reopen. The agency is working to assess the damage and make repairs as quickly as possible.

The St. Gotthard tunnel is the fourth longest road tunnel in the world. It is a major transit route for both passenger and freight traffic. The tunnel carries an average of 2.5 million vehicles per year.

The closure of the St. Gotthard tunnel is a major inconvenience for motorists and businesses. It is also a reminder of the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to natural and man-made hazards.

ASTRA said that it is taking the closure of the St. Gotthard tunnel very seriously. The agency is committed to making repairs as quickly as possible and ensuring the safety of motorists.

The Gotthard Road Tunnel in Switzerland runs from Göschenen in the canton of Uri at its northern portal, to Airolo in Ticino to the south, and is 16.9 kilometres (10.5 mi) in length below the St Gotthard Pass, a major pass of the Alps. At time of construction, in 1980, it was the longest road tunnel in the world; it is currently the fifth-longest.

Although it is a motorway tunnel, part of the A2 from Basel to Chiasso, it consists of only one bidirectional tube with two lanes. With a maximum elevation of 1,175 metres (3,855 ft) at the tunnel's highest point, the A2 motorway has the lowest maximum elevation of any direct north-south road through the Alps.

The tunnel rises from the northern portal at Göschenen (1,080 m (3,540 ft)) and the culminating point is reached after approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi). After 10.3 kilometres (6.4 mi) from the northern portal there is the border between the cantons of Uri and Ticino; after another 6.7 kilometres (4.2 mi), the tunnel ends at the southern portal near Airolo (1,146 m (3,760 ft)). The journey takes about 13 minutes by car, the maximum speed being 80 km/h (50 mph).

The Gotthard Road Tunnel is one of the three tunnels that connect the Swiss Plateau to southern Switzerland and run under the Gotthard Massif, the two other being railway tunnels, the Gotthard Tunnel (1882) and the Gotthard Base Tunnel (2016). All three tunnels bypass the Gotthard Pass, an important trade route since the 13th century. The pass road culminates about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) above the tunnel, at a height of 2,106 metres (6,909 ft), and is only passable in summer.

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