More news on the Tichka tunnel project (Marrakech to Ouarzazate)
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 9, 2012 6:45 AM Last Post By: arjannyncke
Oct 5, 2012 9:04 AM
More news on the Tichka tunnel project (Marrakech to Ouarzazate)This has been bubbling along for some time now but with the recent horrific bus accident everyone's minds have been concentrated. The idea is to build a tunnel under the worst of the Tichka to make it both a quicker route but also one that's not affected by weather. Estimates are that a tunnel would cut 40 minutes from the time needed to cross the Atlas.
One of the early attempts by the French in the 1940s was at the southern end of the Zate valley (under the Tizi n'Tainant) but the writing was on the wall as far as the end of the protectorate, so the tunnel was abandoned after only one km or so. Another early attempt in the 1950s was driven by the needs of a mining consortium to construct a telepherique (cable car) in the Zate Valley.
The Zate valley seems the logical route to me, but the plans as currently discussed are to build a tunnel at the end of the Ourika valley, starting from Setti Fatma. I'm not at all keen on this idea, firstly the Ourika valley is quite narrow and driving a expressway through it would totally destroy the beauty (the Zate valley by comparison is much wider), the second disadvantage to my mind is that it would need a new road almost all the way from Marrakech.
There's basically three alternatives--a twin bore tunnel, a single bore tunnel carrying two-way traffic (!!) or no tunnel and instead widen the existing Tichka road from 5m to 7m or 8m.
Anyway, here's the link for discussions on Skyscraper City. Post #92 has a map showing the Zate and Ourika valleys (the Zate having the telepherique, the Ourika the tunnel). Post #140 has some more maps. The land to the south of the Atlas is at a higher altitude than that to the north, so the road leading to the tunnel and the tunnel itself would be on a constant climb.
Oct 5, 2012 10:26 AM
Oct 5, 2012 11:36 AM
Oct 5, 2012 11:43 AM
Oct 5, 2012 12:22 PM
Oct 5, 2012 4:01 PM
Oct 6, 2012 7:18 AM
6I am agree with Dave, it will destroy much the road and even if maybe is right that the trucks, buses and speeding cars will use the tunnel and let the road free so it will be destroyed anyway. So even if I am not so skeptical about me as marocfan about him (stupid thoughts anyway) so I hope it will take long long time before they even start to work.
Edited by: khamlia
Oct 7, 2012 12:43 PM
7One thing is clear - the road in its present condition is not safe and it is worsening with lack of upkeep especially with the barriers battered and in need of repair. Higher ones might not come amiss either. Where it is possible, which certainly is not everywhere, widening the road would help.
I am sure the cruisers and buses would take the tunnel (if and when) to prevent so much travel sickness. I have rarely been on the bus without someone throwing up near me!
Oct 8, 2012 2:59 AM
8What we have here is a dangerous road, if it can be by-passed by building a tunnel they should do so (though please not a single bore two-lane one, as this would be as lethal in Morocco). Sentiments on scenic route, etc. are so wrong in this context and show travellers bias; the moment your scenery becomes more important than someone else's safety you are on the wrong side of the discussion.
Oct 8, 2012 7:25 AM
9Interesting posting from someone who has minimal health concerns about bringing a baby to Morocco but has major concerns about traffic safety. Both should be a concern.
Oct 8, 2012 3:25 PM
10Thanks for posting Tim, but I don't think it will happen anytime soon.
I know Morocco is really investing in its infrastructure but even here in California it took 25 years to bore a 1 mile tunnel through a major commuting byway travelled by thousands of cars everyday. And this was on a coastal road that was constantly being closed because of landslides, necessitating a 20-30 mile detour each way for some people.
Oct 9, 2012 6:45 AM
11Yeah right, Marocfan (please read that with the sarcasm I intend): I have logical concerns on both. My children a fully vaccinated, I bring sterilising fluid and extensive first aid kit, I am weary of where we eat and go and I bring my own car-seats, never use grand taxi's and only reputable bus companies. I actually risk-assess before i plan any trip, and read copious amounts on where I go. None of this prevents me on bringing my kids to Morocco on health grounds. If you want to rant about health risks do so on the kids to go branch, where people bring unvaccinated children to india and the tropics (but don't bother, I already did the ranting there). So please don't attempt to portray me as someone who does not take health risks seriously, i actually work in healthcare and know my epidemiology.
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