Western Balkans and Observering Participants Advance Tunnel Safety Expertise

PODGORICA – The TAIEX Regional Workshop on Road Safety Audit and Road Safety Inspection training, which took place in Podgorica, Montenegro from 4 to 6 December 2023, increased the participants’ capacities in tunnel safety expertise. Organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro, and supported by the Transport Community, the workshop brought together participants from the Western Balkans and Observing Participants from Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

Welcoming the participants, Mr Albert Kolgeci, Head of Division in charge of Transposition and Implementation of the EU Acquis at the Transport Community Permanent Secretariat, and Mr Miroslav Mašić, General Director of the Directorate for Road Infrastructure at the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro, spoke about the importance of such workshops.

The primary focus of this regional workshop was to deepen participants’ knowledge on Directives 2004/54/EC on minimum safety requirements for tunnels in the Trans-European Road Network and 2019/1936/EC on road infrastructure safety management. The agenda included sessions dedicated to increasing capacities in tunnel safety expertise, building knowledge in tunnel construction methods, understanding operations during construction phases, safety and occupational health hazards, and exploring legislation and standards related to tunnelling. Risk assessment and management were also key components of the training.

Key insights and best practices from key experts Mr Robert Rijavec and Mr Tomaž Tollazzi, Road Safety Auditors and Inspectors in Slovenia as well as Mr Giuseppe Pace, EU Project Coordinator, Researcher at the Italian National Research Council were shared, enriching the participants’ understanding of tunnel safety measures.

The workshop further included a field visit to two significant tunnels: Tunnel Budoš on trunk road M-3, section Nikšić – Danilovgrad, and Tunnel Kopot on the highway section Smokovac – Mateševo.

This workshop fostered regional cooperation but also contributed to elevating tunnel safety standards in Montenegro. The outcomes of this workshop are expected to enhance the overall safety and efficiency of tunnel construction and operation in the region.