The Rosi Mittermeier Tunnel is said to be the highest road tunnel in Europe, at an elevation of 2.830m (9,285ft) above the sea level. It’s located in the Ötztal Alps in Tyrol, Austria.
The road to the tunnel is the 15km-long Panoramic Glacier Road, also known as Ötztal Glacier Road (Ötztaler Gletscherstraße in German). The tunnel was named after the ski racer Rosi Mittermeier, and its length is 1,729m.
The surface of the road is asphalted. It was built in 1982. The highest point of this toll road is at the southern end of the tunnel, at an elevation of 2,830 m (9,285 ft) above the sea level. Road and tunnel have been built to accommodate two lanes in each direction, and the average incline is 11 %, and therefore of no problem for cars or buses. Snow chains in winter months are advisable, as it can snow quite unexpectedly in these high alpine climates. The road is only open when considered not dangerous (avalanches). This can sometimes mean that a second road block is possible. The road is accessible for heavy trucks (lorries up to 38 tons) and buses without any problem. Snow chains and steel tracks might be required troughout the year!
The tunnel links Rettenbach Glacier and Tiefenbach Glacier zones. Both have extensive car parks. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime and can sometimes block some sections of the road, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. Due to the unique location of the Glacier Road amidst high Alpine regions, leading up to 2.800 m above sea level, there exists always a risk of sudden unexpected precipitation or drop in temperature. It is warmly recommended to provide the necessary equipment at any time of the year.
Pic: By J Abele (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons