Structural works began on Monday 16 October, which requires the total closure of the tunnel for 9 consecutive weeks. This closure of one of the major transalpine transport routes, key for Italy’s exports to France, would come at serious economic repercussions.
The Mont Blanc tunnel, which is 11.6 kilometres long, consisting of a single tunnel with two-way traffic that connects Courmayeur, in Valle d’Aosta, to Chamonix, in the French department of Haute-Savoie. It represents one of the main trade route from and to France. In the first months of 2023, there was a +16% increase in transits of heavy vehicles through the tunnel compared to the same period in 2022, according to data published by SITMB - Italian Mont Blanc Tunnel Company. Lorenzo Zurino, president of the Italian Export Forum, also underlines that the closure of the Mont Blanc Tunnel to traffic will have direct effects on the transport system and on the entire export sector, considering that Germany and France are the main outlet markets for Italian goods.
This closure represent a challenge for the sector, in addition to many other problems such as the increase in raw material costs, higher interest rates, and loss of important markets such as Russia and Ukraine.
The closure of the Mont Blanc Tunnel represents a new obstacle for national exports which requires immediate intervention by the government to support exports and road transport for sector development, as the works will last for many years and the tunnel will be closed periodically to allow maintenance work to be carried out, causing serious traffic disruptions and blocking the circulation of heavy vehicles between Italy and France.