Risk evaluation for the H20 road – Neuchâtel canton

Risk evaluation for the H20 road – Neuchâtel canton


Transport department, Neuchâtel canton


April – October 2016

Project description

At the heart of this project lies the renovation of an existing rail line.

The closure of the line, which is required to enable these works to proceed, will inevitably result in an increase of traffic on the H20 road, and this project evaluated this impact.

The 223 rail line, which was installed in 1860, links Neauchâtel with La Chaux-de-Fonds, connects eight localities over a 30km stretch of track. Upgrades of the track and its installations are required to bring it in line with today's technical and safety standards, with the Loges and Mont Sagnes tunnels being in particular need of renovation.

The initial works programme described a complete closure of the CFF line of 10 months. To limit the impact of the closure on the road network, strategy sessions were held between the transport department of Neuchâtel and the CFF, and resulted in the closure being reduced to multiple summertime closures.

Services provided

The first part of the services consisted of an evaluation of the impact of the construction of a cross-tunnel for the Vue-des-Alpes and Mont Sagne rail tunnels on the H20 road tunnels.

The services also aimed to determine the increased risk to the users of the H20 road during the period in which the rail link was closed for upgrading works.

The increase of public transport and light-vehicle traffic on the roads linking Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds at Neuchâtel was anticipated to increase the number of events which may harm road-users: road-accidents, tunnel fires, etc.

To this end, the H20 has been divided into a number of sections according to the infrastructure characteristics. The rates of various events (break-downs, fires and accidents) were identified for each section and compared with the traffic and accident data. The forecast changes in traffic were then able to be evaluated, and on the basis of this information, the number of potential events expected to happen in each section of road was estimated.

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