SFTRF was founded in 1962 at the initiative of Pierre Dumas, Mayor of Chambéry and Transport Minister at the time. The project led to the opening of the Fréjus Road Tunnel in 1980, later followed by the construction and commissioning of the Maurienne motorway, between 1993 and 2000.
In 2004, a European directive on tunnel safety was issued, leading to the decision to begin construction of the road tunnel's emergency gallery at the end of 2009. This was to bring the tunnel into conformity with the obligation for all tunnels in the trans-European network to be equipped with safety shelters no more than 500 m apart.
The main objective of this operation was to increase the number of safety shelters in the Fréjus tunnel from 11 to 34 by building connections to the emergency gallery every 400 m on average. Safety shelters, with a surface area of at least the regulatory standard of 50 m², are integrated into these connecting galleries.
During the Franco-Italian summit in Lyon on December 3rd, 2012, the two governments decided on the entry into service of this gallery. The second tube will be opened to single lane traffic (in the direction Italy-France), while the existing tunnel will also be operated for single lane traffic (in the direction France-Italy).
On November 17th, 2014 excavation of the tube, using a tunnel boring machine, was completed. The tube will only go into service in 2021 in view of the civil engineering work still to be carried out and the installation of all the equipment (lighting, ventilation traffic signals and signage). Seventeen connecting galleries with their safety shelters have been operational on the French side since April 2014.