Zurich Process


Description of the road

The Ventimiglia highway connects Nice with Genoa and consists of two motorways: the A8 for the French section, and the A10 on the Italian side. In 2007, 1,900,000 heavy goods vehicles travelled on this stretch of road. The increase in traffic resulting from transit between Spain and Italy is showing no signs of slowing, after having grown by more than 70% in 10 years, and the motorway is close to reaching saturation point. On the French side the motorway has two lanes per carriageway throughout (three lanes on the ramps).

The Ventimiglia motorway is one of the great roads crossing the Alps and the only one that is not located at high altitude and thus not subject to fluctuations in the climate. Nonetheless, the region’s topography is rugged and traffic tends to be congested.

Access to the Ventimiglia motorway:

  • on the French side, by the A 8 highway which branches off the A7 to the west of Aix-en-Provence.
  • on the Italian side, by the A 10 highway starting in Genoa.

The La Giraude tunnel is a cross-border road tunnel connecting the French A8 and Italian A10 motorways. Like the A8, the French section of the tunnel is run by the company ESCOTA. It is the 18th and final tunnel through which drivers coming from Aix-en-Provence travel on French soil.

At the Italian border the dimensions of the La Giraude tunnel are as follows:

  • Southern bore : 415m long (of which some 260 m are on French territory).
  • Northern bore : 455m long (of which some 260 m are on French territory).
A8- La Giraude tunnel

Average daily traffic volume*:

  • Light vehicles : 18,300 (78%)
  • HVGs et coaches : 5,300 (22%)
  • Total : 23,600
    * Data: 2007

Average annual traffic volume (in thousands)

Source: Escota

Véhicules légers: light vehicles
Poids lourds: HGVs

Source: Escota

Distribution of HGVs by final destination

Source SESP : Service Economie Statistiques et Prospective (SG)

Figure (clockwise from bottom, left)

  • France, other
  • Spain, Portugal
  • Other countries
  • France, PACA region
  • France, south


On the French side, from Nice-St-Isidore to the Italian border the road is 34 km long, with 34 tunnels of various lengths. The road was built by the state and a concession awarded to Escota.

  • 14 July 1969: section from Roquebrune to the Italian border, first carriageway;
  • 11 July 1970: section from Roquebrune to the Italian border, second carriageway.
A8 - Viaduc de Garavan - Menton