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Tunnel cleanup operation gets ready for winter season

Austrian motorway maintenance company Asfinag are starting their annual Tunnel cleaning involving 146 tunnels across the country.

In preparation for the arrival of winter the reflectors at the side of the tunnel as well as the lighting, emergency stopping places and the video cameras all need to be cleaned and serviced ready for the new tourism season.

The 146 tunnels cover a total of 342 km – equivalent to the distance between Vienna and Kitzbühel.

Josef Fiala who was responsible for the company's service department said: "Clean tunnels mean that it's easier to see and improves the travelling experience of drivers and also road safety. Obviously cleaning so many tunnels is a challenge – of which the top priority is to make sure traffic is disturbed as little as possible. That's why most of this work is done at night where people don't even notice it has taken place."

Every Tunnel gets a pre-washed and a main wash - just like with a car - that means that in the pre-wash oil and dust and bits of rubber and other large stains are removed with a high-pressure hose and a rotating brush – then in the main wash the dirt from the previous few months is removed from the walls which is mainly carried out simply with water and a biological cleaner.

Not everything can be washed on site though – street signs and light fittings are often removed and washed by hand before being returned. Most of the washing work will take place in October.

In the various regions the amount of tunnels in operation include the following:

Vienna/Lower Austria/Burgenland 27 Kilometers of tunnel (30 Tunnels)
Styria                                                89 Kilometers of tunnel (27 Tunnels)
Upper/Austria Carinthia                   43 Kilometers of tunnel (25 Tunnels)
Kärnten:                                          49 Kilometers of tunnel (24 Tunnel)
Tirol/Vorarlberg:                                95 Kilometers of tunnel (29 Tunnel)
Salzburg:                                            39 Kilometers of tunnel (11 Tunnel)

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