The Que'ershan Tunnel on National Road G317, or the northern section of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway recently won the "Project of the Year" award from the International Tunneling Association (ITA). As the first road tunnel project to be nominated for the award from China, the tunnel was unanimously recognized by 17 experts in the international tunnel field. In the end, it was awarded the Brunel Trophy, which is known as the "Oscar Award" of the tunnel industry. It marks China's highway tunnel reconnoiter and design construction has ranked among top in the world.
The Que'ershan Tunnel was built by the Sichuan Expressway Construction and Development Group Co., Ltd. It is 12.995 kilometers long with 7.079 km of tunnel. The approach roads at both ends of the tunnel total 5.916 km.
The tunnel has a net width of nine meters and a net height of five meters. It is a two-way, two-lane highway and uses secondary road standards, and it is designed to allow for speeds up to 40 km/h.
A total of 1.15 billion yuan (0.166 billion US dollars) was invested into the project, which was launched in 2002 with a program demonstration and feasibility study. Construction began in September 2012, and the tunnel officially opened to traffic at the end of September 2017.
The Que'ershan Tunnel is necessary for entering Tibet from the G317. With an altitude of 6,618 meters above sea level, the tunnel is the world's highest extra-long highway tunnel. Each year, there is a snow cover period of eight months. The mountain road is dangerous, cold, and there is little oxygen, so it is known as the "utmost danger of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway".
The selection agency for the award is the ITA, full name "International Tunneling and Underground Space Association". It is an international organization of the tunnel engineering and academic fields.