Portal neue Gubriströhre

cablex connects the tunnel infrastructure in Gubrist.

Due to its more than 20 years of network construction experience, cablex was commissioned by the Federal Roads Office FEDRO to implement the optical fibre installations in the new tube of the Gubrist Tunnel. Signal AG also awarded cablex the contract for installing the signalling system. 

Carolin Rabea Primerova 1-1
Author Carolin Rabea Primerova

If you are planning a route that runs between the Zurich Nord junction and the Limmattalerkreuz, check the traffic situation again before setting off or allow an extra half hour for your journey. More than 120,000 vehicles roll over this busy section of road every day. This means the capacity limit has been exceeded and traffic jams and gridlocks are common occurrences every day in both directions. In order to alleviate this situation, the Zurich Nord bypass has been under construction since June 2016. The most important and also largest part of the project is the construction of a third tube for the Gubrist Tunnel with three lanes.

cablex connects the tunnel infrastructure in Gubrist.

cablex is responsible for the optical fibre expansion work.

FEDRO awarded cablex the contract for expanding the optical fibre infrastructure. The optical fibre work started in 2017 for cablex. It began with an open section as well as the two tunnels Stelzen and Katzensee between the Brütisellerkreuz and Gubrist. This section has already been completed. 

The breakthrough of the new Gubrist tube happened in 2020, and cablex started its work on the inside of the tunnel in 2022. Less than a year later, in February 2023, the optical fibre installations were already finished. The new three-lane tube has now been completed and will be commissioned at the end of April, 2023. 

Inside the new tunnel there are three main control rooms. Another control room is located in the outside area. It contains the technology for controlling the tunnel's entry areas. cablex installed and equipped the technical cabinets for the optical fibre connections (30 in total across all sub-projects) in the four tunnel control rooms. The optical fibre infrastructure provides the conditions needed for controlling and monitoring the technology and equipment of other work groups, such as signalisation, video surveillance, fire alarm systems, ventilation and lighting. Simply put, cablex connects the tunnel infrastructure so that the different components can "communicate" with each other. 

Signal assembly sub-project.

The second sub-project, which cablex had completed in Gubrist by the end of February 2023, included installation and cabling of the signal systems for the entry areas in Affoltern and Weinigen and the new Gubrist tube. On behalf of Signal AG, cablex installed the signals on the steel girders in the open road area in front of the tunnel entrance as well as all of the signals at 35 locations (blocks) in the third Gubrist tube. 

Signal assembly by cablex:

  • Lane light signals, including assembly and mounting 
  • Traffic lights, including assembly and mounting 
  • Flashing signals, including assembly and mounting 
  • Prisma signals, including assembly and mounting 
  • Ground-glass signals, including assembly and mounting 
  • LED switching signals for indicating speeds, including assembly and mounting 
  • LED switching signals for risks, including assembly and mounting 
  • LED switching signals for ramp control, including assembly and mounting 
  • Internally illuminated signals  
  • VDE sensor system for recording traffic data, including assembly and mounting 
  • Static signals, including assembly and mounting  
  • Cross-section of infrastructure and access installations and cabling  


Werkstollen im Gubristtunnel

Realisation with own employees.

The optical fibre work and the signalling work were both carried out by the employees of cablex. This means that, once again, the expertise and experience gained in such a large-scale project as well as the knowledge of the installations and systems on site remain with cablex.  

cablex is particularly proud of the fact that these two sub-projects in the new Gubrist tube were completed without any faults before being handed over to the customer: "We are proud that cablex, with a lot of heart and soul, was able to make an important contribution to the expansion of the infrastructure of one of the busiest routes in Switzerland", reported project manager Enos Pizio. 

With the completion of the new installations in the third tube, work in the Gubrist Tunnel is not yet finished. From 2023 to 2027, the renovation and maintenance of the two "old" tubes will follow step by step. And cablex is responsible for the installation of the optical fibre infrastructure and signal assembly here, as well. 

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Heinrich Braschler


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