cablex AG | Tannackerstrasse 7 | 3073 Gümligen |

27/03/2018  /  Denise Schneider

cablex connects the northern ring road.

The Gubrist northern ring road is is undergoing expansion up to 2025. cablex is also involved as it won three orders during the submission process.

The Gubrist tunnel is one of the most heavily-used tunnels in Switzerland. It has been in operation for over 30 years, and is now slowly reaching its limits. On normal working days, around 120,000 vehicles use the northern ring road on average. The Federal Roads Office, FEDRO expects the amount of traffic to continue to rise, which means the current bottleneck situation will intensify. The solution is to expand the entire route to include two three-lane roads and build a third Gubrist tunnel. The costs for the project are expected to amount to around 1,550 million CHF.

Important construction milestones for this project are:

The route from Gubrist East to Zurich North (tunnel roof/cover Stelzen, open routes and tunnel roof/cover Katzensee)
Preliminary work 2015–2016
Main work 2016–2020
Third Gubrist tunnel
Preliminary work 2014–2016  
Main work 2017–2022
Maintenance of first and second Gubrist tunnels           
Main work 2022 - 2025

Another positive aspect of the road capacity increase through the expansion project is enhanced protection for residents and nature. The planned measures will provide protection against noise, reduce the stress on moors and bodies of water, and strengthen the natural habitats in the vicinity. Even before the work was started, the Cantonal Archaeology Office of Zurich, which is part of the Office for Spatial Development, completed excavations to safeguard any important finds and discoveries.

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"It's a real pleasure to work with the cablex employees, who provide their ideas and think ahead, and contribute their extensive experience as optical fibre specialists. The manufactured and installed cabinets now serve as a prototype "LWL installation" for other sections and areas." According to Mr. Andreas Kempter from R. Brüniger AG, Engineering & Consulting.

cablex has been commissioned with implementing three solutions.

We are proud to be responsible for the deadlines, costs and quality standards in the following areas.

Fibre optic cabling (LWL) Direct order from ASTRA approx. CHF. 7 560 000, 2017 to 2027
Signalisation section Customer Signal AG        approx. CHF  2 000 000, 2017 to 2025
VTV Customer Siemens AG approx. CHF 780 000, 2017 to 2019

LWL (optical fibre cabling).

The optical fibre cabling section has already been implemented in the tunnel in Stelzen and along the open route. Under the project management of Patrick Hinnen and the supervision of head technician Armin Pramstaller, an average of four employees have been working through the nights since the summer of 2017. Within the scope of the project "Expansion of the Zurich northern ring road (ANU), the LWL infrastructure will be extended within these perimeters by cablex to comply with the new requirements. With the new LWL facility, sufficient optical fibres (ca. 20 km cable / 144 fibres) will be installed during the project. During the overall realisation of the project, the team must ensure that all vital systems, such as the police radio system or broadband communication network, function correctly without any interruptions.

"In addition to the coordination of the various activities, the high security standards and the internal and external processes, connecting the new networks to the existing infrastructure is another major challenge. Important services, such as the police radio system, traffic television and broadband communication, had to available without any interruptions at all times." said Patrick Hinnen.

Signalisation section.

On behalf of Signal AG, we are laying over 1,000 special combination cables across signal crossarms and tunnel cross sections with an overall length of 25 km. Compared with the northern ring road, this is three times long than the route Gubrist - tunnel in Stelzen.

The combination cables have been specially manufactured for the Zurich northern ring road. The cables are halogen-free and thus more resistant against UV radiation. These special combination cables are provided with connectors in the factory where they are produced, which are dust and water-pressure tight and also resistant against aggressive liquids and vapours. The connectors are heat and cold resistant with operating temperatures between of -50 °C to 100°C.

cablex is also installing around 1,100 signals between Gubrist and the tunnel in Stelzen.
A differentiation is made between static and dynamic signals. Static signals consist of fixed sheet metal boards. Dynamic signals are controlled in relation to specific events, such as speed restrictions, traffic jam notifications or no overtaking signals. The signals are displayed electrically by turning prisms, or with signals using LED lamps. Diffusing screen signals will be installed in the tunnel in Stelzen and Katzensee and highlight the direction of travel (green signals on the tunnel roof). Traffic recording will be handled by traffic detectors. With the new signalling, in the event of an incident the traffic can be guided via the hard shoulder to ensure the flow of traffic keeps moving.

VTV video surveillance section.

In future, the traffic will be monitored completely and without any gaps. For this purpose, cablex has been commissioned by Siemens Switzerland to install over 20 km of special combination cabling for the VTV video surveillance system as well as the 68 cameras along the open route and the tunnel in Stelzen and Katzensee. The specially manufactured combination cable contains three copper wires for the power supply and four optical fibres for transmitting the video stream.

Furthermore, cablex will also be providing 18 switch cabinets, which will be used for storing the video components, the image storage computer, incident detectors and also for connecting the cameras. These 18 switch cabinets will be installed in 8 exchanges.

Due to the high voltage lines along the open route towards Bern, on one day in October 2018 over 9 camera poles will be set up and fixed in place, because the high voltage lines are directly in the vicinity and will need to be deactivated in order to mount the masts.

Video surveillance will play an important role in future for the Zurich northern ring road, as it will be possible to identify incidents, such as fires and traffic jams, automatically and display the incidents directly on the screens in the traffic control centre.

We are proud to be able to make a significant contribution towards the expansion of the northern ring road and are looking forward to providing you with regular updates on this Project.

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cablex AG | Tannackerstrasse 7 | 3073 Gümligen | Phone 0848 222 539 | cablex.info@cablex.ch