The Mont Blanc Tunnel, a major road link between France and Italy, will be closed for more than three consecutive months towards the end of the year.
Extensive renovation work is needed and it has been confirmed it will be closed for 15 consecutive weeks from September 4 to December 18, 2023.
Built 60 years ago, the 11.6 km-long tunnel is at a stage where one-off repairs are no longer enough.
"We have chosen to carry out larger, more substantial work to give a second life to this tunnel,” said Grégory Schwarshaupt, the co-director of the Autoroutes et Tunnel du Mont Blanc (ATMB) company.
Gregory SCHWARSHAUPT, Directeur Francais du GEIE du Tunnel du Mont Blanc nous explique les prochaines phases de travaux.— Autoroutes et Tunnel du Mont Blanc (@ATMBinfo) October 10, 2022
"Le tunnel a maintenant plus de 60 ans, en plus de l'entretien régulier, on arrive dans une période où le tunnel a besoin de travaux plus importants".
The tunnel sees about 1,700 heavy goods vehicles pass through per day and averages around 3,600 cars, with peaks of more than 6,000 in August.
The first part of the project is expected to cost more than €50 million.
The work is set to continue throughout 2024 and the tunnel is expected to be shut down for a similar period, however, no dates have yet been confirmed.