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.
Construction on a second, parallel road tunnel was started. In first instance it was only built for safety: an escape route in case of accidents. This second tunnel can be built out to a full road tunnel, allowing four lanes of traffic. Efforts to do this have failed, blocked by political resistance. The Alpine Initiative \"for the protection of the Alpine region from transit traffic\", which raised barriers against road tunnel construction, was initially blocked by the Swiss Parliament. A February 1994 Alpine Initiative passed (with 52% of the vote), and Parliament upheld the referendum twice through the 1990s. The pro-tunnel Avanti Initiative brought a referendum to voters in February 2004, which was rejected (by 62.8%).
The Gotthard Pass or St. Gotthard Pass (Italian: Passo del San Gottardo; German: Gotthardpass) at 2,106 m (6,909 ft) is a mountain pass in the Alps traversing the Saint-Gotthard Massif and connecting northern Switzerland with southern Switzerland. The pass lies between Airolo in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, and Andermatt in the German-speaking canton of Uri, and connects further Bellinzona and Lugano to Lucerne, Basel, and Zurich. The Gotthard Pass lies at the heart of the Gotthard, a major transport axis of Europe, and it is crossed by three traffic tunnels, each being the world's longest at the time of their construction: the Gotthard Rail Tunnel (1882), the Gotthard Road Tunnel (1980) and the Gotthard Base Tunnel (2016). With the Lötschberg to the west, the Gotthard is one of the two main north-south routes through the Swiss Alps.
Since the Middle Ages, transit across the Gotthard played an important role in Swiss history, the region north of the Gotthard becoming the nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the 13th century, after the pass became a vital trade route between Northern and Southern Europe. The Gotthard is sometimes referred to as the \"King of Mountain Passes\" because of its central and strategic location.
The Gotthard Pass lies on the main watershed of the Gotthard massif, a massif lying at the heart of the Swiss Alps, between the cantons of Valais, Ticino, Grisons and Uri. The pass itself is the lowest point between the summits of Pizzo Lucendro (west) and Pizzo Centrale (east). It connects the cantons of Uri (north) and Ticino (south), its summit (2,106 metres (6,909 ft), indicated by a road sign) being located in the latter canton, about 2 km south of the border with Uri. The valleys connected by the pass are that of the river Reuss, named the Urseren, and that of the river Ticino, named Valle Leventina. The Gotthard axis is the most important route between Central Switzerland as well as most of the northern part of the country and the southern region of Ticino. It is the most direct link between Zürich and Lugano and also between some regions of northern Europe and Italy (Rotterdam-Basel-Genoa axis).
The Swiss also had an interest in extending their influence south of the Alps to secure the trade route across the pass to Milan. Beginning in 1331, they initially exerted their influence through peaceful trade agreements, but in the 15th century, their involvement turned military. 1403 the upper Leventina, as the valley south of the pass is called, became a protectorate of Uri. Throughout the 15th century, a changeful struggle between the Swiss and the Duchy of Milan ensued, resulting ultimately in the Swiss conquest of the territory of the Ticino.
The last tunnel, the 57 kilometres (35 mi) Gotthard Base Tunnel (a double-tube railway tunnel), opened in 2016. At around 500 metres above sea level, it provides for the first time a flat route through the massif and the Alps from the northern plains at Erstfeld to the southern plains at Bodio. It is the longest and deepest railway tunnel in the world. This tunnel, combined with two shorter tunnels planned near Zürich and Lugano as part of the NRLA project, reduced the 3 hour 40 min rail journey from Zürich to Milan by one hour, while increasing the size and number of trains that can operate along the route because the line is nearly level, compared with the spirals of the older tunnel.
Perhaps the most famous of the mountain passes in the European Alps, the Great St. Bernard Pass lives up to its reputation with its majestic scenery and diverting views from an elevation of 2469 meters. Take the E27 south toward Italy to get a good view from this iconic location and experience one of the most renowned attractions of the country.The pass had long been used as a commercial trade route, starting with the Romans during the Empire's peak, though today it serves mostly as a tourist destination for motorists who want to take it slow and soak in the impressive, sometimes perilous, sights along this route once traveled by Napolean Bonaparte and his army during his march toward Italy in 1800.Deep in the mountains is the Great St. Bernard Hospice. The hospice was founded centuries prior to Napolean's crossing, the earliest mention of the hostel occurring in 812. During the 17th century, the monks that maintained the hospice grounds began selectively breeding and training their dogs, which were said to be gifts from travelers and villagers from nearby towns. You guessed it: the resulting breed was the St. Bernard, primarily used during this time to guard the hospice, though later they were used as rescue animals. The monks still maintain the grounds and give comfort and information to travelers today.A tunnel through the mountains that was built in 1964 allows travelers to make the journey unhindered during the winter, which is good news if you decide to visit during that time. If you choose to take the journey through the Great St. Bernard Pass, you can start your journey near Zurich and end in the Italian city of Milan. Traveling the distance between Martigny, Switzerland to Aosta, Italy via the Great St. Bernard Pass takes an hour and a half.
Stretching from Brig to the Italian town of Domodossola, the Simplon Pass gives travelers access to the Swiss neighbor to the south. It is a less perilous drive than other alpine passes, built on the contour of the mountain rather than engineered for expediency. The Simplon Pass is generally closed due to weather from December to May, leaving travelers to load their cars onto trains that still have access to the Simplon Tunnel that passes through the mountains. The roads curve gently around the mountain's topography, giving drivers some truly wondrous views of the frozen mountain slopes on the Swiss side and the verdant tree-lined valley on the Italian side.Along the way, you will have the opportunity to capture some awe-inspiring memories with your camera, so be sure you have a full charge on your device. The Ganter Bridge, for instance, spans the Ganter Valley, 150 meters above the valley floor at its highest. As the longest spanning bridge in Switzerland, the Ganter Bridge gives travelers a look at the vastness of the deep valley below. You can also stop at the Simplon Hospice, a Swiss heritage site of national importance that was founded in the first year of the 19th century under the orders of Napolean Bonaparte. Napolean intended to use the route to cross the mountains, though because his efforts failed before reaching the pass, he never got to use it. The hospice gives travelers a chance to stretch their legs on the many hiking trails that line its grounds. All are welcome to visit the Hospice, which is run by the Augustine canons of St. Bernard. Without any stops, the drive through the pass on Route 9 takes just over an hour, the perfect amount of time for a short excursion to see these truly amazing vistas.
We are driving Lugano to Interlaken and trying to decide between going through the tunnel or going over the pass. I know there is a queue for the tunnel and I believe the road over would be stunning, but I know little about either route. My questions are as follows:
1) Does one take substantially longer than the other2) Which is the correct route over. It looks like I can exit the toll road in Airolo and proceed to route 2 over the mountain to Andermatt and then proceed on to Wassen.3) Is the road over safe in late June and July.4) Once in Wassen, is it quicker to take Susten Pass to Interlaken or drive up to Stans on the A2
The trip is filmed in freezing and snow-covered conditions starting from Arth-Goldau along the busy route through Erstfeld, Göschenen, the Gotthard Tunnel, Airolo and down to the loops at Giornico where darkness falls. From there we have selected night-time shots of the train passing through major stations on the final leg of its journey down to Lugano, where this programme concludes.
Friday 21 June - The 7th stage is the longest in the Tour de Suisse. At 216.6 kilometres, the route goes from Unterterzen to a summit finish at the Gotthard Pass. The final climb is 13.5 kilometres and the gradient sits at 7.1%, while the last 8 kilometres are cobbled.
The stage sets out along Lake Walen. The route runs false flat uphill until the first proper vertical metres lead to Flims. The climb is crested at kilometre 65 before the route continues false flat to the foot of the Lukmanier Pass, which is a long test. The Lukmanier amounts to 19.8 kilometres, while the average gradient sits at 3.9%. The maximum incline on the pass is 10%.
The peak is crested after 122.8 kilometres before a 40 kilometres descent brings the riders back to the valley. Shortly the route once again goes uphill and continues to do so for the last 50 kilometres. On fairly shallow gradients the riders climb to Airolo before tackling the relentless Gotthard Pass via the partly cobbled Tremola road. Although the pavé is well maintained, the climb is still a vibratory and energy-sapping experience. 153554b96e