Mont Blanc tunnel closure to cause major Italy-France travel disruption

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Mont Blanc tunnel closure to cause major Italy-France travel disruption
A police officer redirects cars towards the line to enter the Mont-Blanc tunnel in Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, following the closure of other roads by a landslide. (Photo by Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP)

Transport links between Italy and France are expected to be further disrupted from Monday September 4th with a shutdown of the Mont Blanc tunnel coming as other major road and rail routes were closed.


The Mont Blanc tunnel, linking Courmayeur in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta region to Chamonix in France, was due to close on September 4th for planned maintenance works scheduled to last 15 weeks.

Valle d’Aosta Governor Renzo Testolin said on Wednesday that the works would go ahead as planned, following reports that the Italian and French governments may delay the Mont Blanc tunnel shutdown due to the unplanned closure of other cross-border routes.

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As of Thursday morning there was “no change to the scheduling of the planned maintenance works,” Testolin told Italian media, adding that the tunnel’s management and regional authorities would “monitor the situation’s development hour by hour.”

The Frejus tunnel linking Italy with France was closed on Monday after landslides caused by severe storms. It remained closed to heavy trucks and trains on Tuesday, while the Brenner tunnel linking Italy and Austria was also closed to rail traffic.

Cross-border trains on the Chambery-Turin line, as well as TER regional trains in the Maurienne valley, were halted until at least Thursday, French rail operator SNCF said.


Freight trucks were diverted from other routes to Mont Blanc, where on Wednesday evening there were queues of two to three hours to enter the tunnel on the Italian side, and one to two hours on the French side, according to France and Italy's motorway operators.

French Transport Minister Clement Beaune said on Monday that a return to normal at Frejus "will require several days".



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