16 August 2022

Around the World with Yunex Traffic: Portugal

Safer tunnels in Porto

  • Yunex Traffic Portugal is making tunnels in the city of Porto more digital. This comes along with the city’s ambitious objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
  • The city of Porto has handed-over its critical tunnels and underground passages to Yunex Traffic.
  • The contract started in September 2021 and will run until September 2024.

Yunex Traffic Portugal keeps tunnels in the city of Porto fully available for citizens – drivers and pedestrians, while making them more digital.

The city-based team takes care of infrastructures of all types, six tunnels and six underground corridors, as part of a service contract. The “taking care” started with an integral assessment to the assets, including 3D scanning, up to the electro-mechanical maintenance of complex devices like ventilation turbines or electricity generators.

Interview with Rui Mangas, our project manager in charge

What value does this project add for the customer?

“The road tunnels are critical infrastructures in the city of Porto and play a crucial role in the mobility of the city. In order for them to be in operation, it is necessary to ensure that the required safety levels are maintained and that the public finds the conditions to travel safely. Our services are of great importance for the city’s mobility, as they precisely meet these conditions and ensure the permanent operation, efficiency, reliability, and life extension of the various equipment in the tunnels.”

What are the challenges in this project?

“The tunnels in which we carry out maintenance work are, with one or two exceptions, more than two decades old. This fact presents us with a challenge that I consider the biggest we have faced: the obsolescence of most of the existing equipment. This fact is giving us a bit more to deal with, but with the capacity of our team and our wide network of partners, we are successfully overcoming this difficulty. This aspect also highlights the importance of the services we provide, adding to my previous answer. We had a layer that is extending the life and improving the quality of these infrastructures.”

What has made this project so successful in your opinion?

“Of all the value that Yunex Traffic offers as a company, one clearly stands out: the team. In this project, I can count on the support of a highly qualified, selfless, and available team that is fully committed to the project. This has allowed us to provide a great response to the various challenges of the contract, a fact that is recognized by the customer and of which we can be proud.”

Although it is a standard service contract, the municipality has fully embraced the current trend towards digitalization and we are supporting them in this task. In addition to the standard service management tools used today, we have started modelling the infrastructures by laser scanning the structures. To this new model of existing infrastructures, the municipality will now add detailed information on all the devices, providing a comprehensive Building Information Modeling (BIM) for more effective and efficient asset management. BIM is a technology that is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry. It is usually used during the construction phase and forms the basis for the final documentation of the projects. Porto is therefore digitizing its tunnels and underground passages so that future activities can use the same digital basis used for the latest constructions.

This project is based on a long-lasting partnership between Yunex Traffic Portugal and the city of Porto, which started in 2013 with the maintenance of traffic lights. The city is undergoing a real tourism boom and its development is being further boosted by new infrastructures such as a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, the expansion of the LRT system with new lines and vehicles, and a new road bridge over the Douro River. This goes hand in hand with the city's ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. 40% of the city of Porto's greenhouse gas emissions come from transport, so in the coming years there will be a concerted effort by various stakeholders in the city to improve the sustainability of mobility.