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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Switzerland. The great cleaning of the Alpine passes has begun

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In Switzerland, heavy snow removal is underway on Alpine roads closed for the winter. In the canton of Graubünden, the unblocking of the San Bernardino Pass has started. The work is not easy – equipment operators must watch out for, among other things, falling avalanches.

In winter, some of the most dangerous passes in the Alps are closed – winding, snow-covered roads in mountainous terrain can be deadly. Now, however, spring is slowly coming to the Alps, and cleaning works are starting on the closed passes.

Snowy, but not record-breaking

One pass that could be dangerous in winter is the picturesque San Bernardino in the canton of Graubünden. According to the local website FM1 Today, its opening is scheduled for May 17. Currently, cleaning works are underway there – snow removal, inspection of the condition of roads and barriers, repair of damaged infrastructure elements and controlled avalanche blasting. Officials from Graubünden, groups equipped with specialized equipment and avalanche teams take part in them.

“It was a very snowy winter, but not necessarily a record one,” said Ramona Tiefenthal of the Canton of Graubünden's civil engineering board.

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As she explained, when and where the cleaning works will begin depends on weather conditions. A road is only opened when its absolute safety can be guaranteed. The work itself of clearing passes can also be dangerous – machine operators must be careful about avalanches and icy surfaces.

Clearing the San Bernardino PassPAP/EPA/GIAN EHRENZELLER


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