The Warnow Tunnel is a 790m long road tunnel, which connects the east and west bank of the Warnow River in the Hanseatic city of Rostock in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is Germanys first toll road in modern times and was opened on September 12, 2003 by Federal Transport Minister Dr. Manfred Stolpe.
The tunnel was built using a technique known as Immersed Tube Construction. The main part of the tunnel consists of six prefabricated concrete conduits, which were formed and poured in a temporary dry-dock nearby, floated out onto the river and lowered into a dredged channel at the river bottom. This technique apparently pioneered in the Detroit River construction of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel in 1930 and replicated for sub-aqueous tunnels ever since. The Warnow Tunnel (2003) is the country’s first privately run tunnel and thus, tolls are the order of the day. The two tubes are monitored 24/7 via video from a control centre manned by regularly trained personnel with an image automatically displayed in the event of incidents and emergency call facilities and fire extinguishers set up every 150m. An automatic fire alarm system ensures that properly dimensioned ventilation is switched on, the tunnel closed and the fire brigade informed. This is equally well trained and equipped and works in harmony with the tunnel staff, something that has been demonstrated on a regular basis through emergency drills. The well-marked escape ways and the cross-passages leading to the other tube together with well-distinguished emergency exits ensure effective self-rescue.
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