Fréjus tunnel reopens
Tunnel reopens to light traffic two months after it was destroyed by fatal blaze
Two months after it was ravaged by a fire, the Fréjus tunnel which links France and Italy in the Alps is set to re-open on Thursday morning. The blaze, which resulted in two deaths on June 4, took hold as several vehicules caught fire. The reopening of the tunnel was announced yesterday by Transport Minister, Dominique Perben and comes ahead of schedule, due to the fact that it was not as damaged as was first feared. The news will be an important boost for the local economy as the road is a vital transport and freight route between the two countries.
Heavy goods vehicles still face certain restrictions with only one-way traffic allowed, alternating between the two directions every hour. These restrictions are likely to remain in place until August 23, and any vehicules transporting dangerous goods will not be allowed to pass through until the automatic fire detection system has been installed. Finally, firefighters are to be on 24hour patrol from now on, in order to have a more rapid response unit available when problems occur.