SCADA and More for Eight Road Tunnels

8 min video  /  4 minute read

Project Scope

  • All parts are redundant (software, network, hardware)
  • 120,000 tags
  • 7 redundant Siemens PLCs with safety and standard program, communication with 150 distributed I/O modules and about 12,000 I/O
  • 100 screens, 120 Scan Class with lots of Scan Class @1sec
  • 3 dual-monitor clients and 6 single-monitor clients
  • Ignition OPC-UA server with exposed tag feature to serve another road traffic monitoring system
  • 30 Modbus devices, 5 MySQL Historical DBs, 1 MySQL SCADA system setup DB, 3 MySQL DBs with Master-Slave replication for process parameters, recipes and versioning, HSQLDB for additional setup data used in runtime for fast equipment browsing and filtering
  • History DB for 50,000 tags with about 100 billion rows for 3 months
  • More than 1,000 commands matrix (like recipes)
  • More than 5,000 parameters
  • Network backbones with about 20 Allied Telesis switches, Profinet fieldbus Network with about 300 Moxa switches
  • Test environment with the same architecture and I/O Simulator

Project Overview

Marseille is a port city in southern France. Bouygues Energies & Services is using Ignition in several capacities as part of its project for the L2 bypass in Marseilles. Bouygues created the Centralized Technical Management (CTM) system with Ignition and Siemens PLCs. The system keeps eight road tunnels under constant surveillance along their entire length of 6.2 miles. CTM processes data from over 12,000 I/O control points and more than 120,000 tags.

CTM controls and commands road signs, adjusts the ventilation, informs users, and provides alarms to emergency teams. Equipment involved includes barriers, traffic lights, the lighting system, the smoke extraction system, and overhead air accelerators.

The aim of the L2 bypass is to improve traffic flow in the northeast side of the city by developing soft modes of transport. Over 95,000 vehicles per day are expected when the final parts of the project are in place in late 2017. The bypass road will combine two complementary functions: a bypass of Marseille and inter-district access.

The L2 bypass is located in dense urban areas north of Marseille. The challenge is to limit the impact of the project on the daily lives of residents and to meet new ecological construction standards. Sound levels and air quality are highly monitored, especially since over half of the road is covered. The group has committed to an energy consumption limit for the duration of the project. This is why there are LED lights in the tunnels, a first for a project of this scale in France. To reduce greenhouse gases from congestion, modular light signaling will ensure effective speed regulation, which will go from 90 to 70 to 50km/h depending on traffic.


Requirements for CTM:

  • High reliability with all parts redundant to ensure user safety
  • Fast design and change-compliant
  • Automated non-regression tests
  • Connection thru OPC-UA server to expose all internal data for another wide area system
  • Fully customizable (lots of process parameters)
  • Single- or dual-screen monitor HMI/GUI or laptop HMI
  • These requirements involved the need for the CTM software to handle numerous last-minute changes.



Ignition is used as SCADA, OPC-UA Server gateway, Design tool, and Advanced Test Tools. It was the team’s go-to product for quickly designing and automating most of the software life cycle steps — core model design, automated build, update, QA test, and communication interface.

The team is composed of three Ignition developers, six PLC programmers, two QA testers, and four on-site commissioning testers. SVN, Mantis Bugtracker, Kanboard, and MySQL are used for project and software design and management. A Site Core Model including Ignition and PLCs was built for the first site and applied, upgraded and extended for other sites.


Outstanding features:

  • Create UDT and tag DB in XML with a common DB to generate most of Siemens’ part of the PLC program
  • Advanced Diagnostics tools inside Ignition’s app (Distributed I/O Cards, Communications, etc.)
  • Database MySQL and HSQLDB to extend Ignition internal data with CAMM data, process parameters versioning, and display of electrical chain of equipment’s power supply
  • Automated test of equipment (batch command and state return check) for non-regression
  • Control of a Siemens I/O Simulator thru OPC-COM
  • Heavy Load Communication Apps for Ignition proof of concept and hardware sizing
  • Distributed SCADA (redundant gateway for east side and north side) with unified HMI/GUI
  • Fine-grained modules and submodules version management

The application taps into Ignition’s features:

  • Dual-monitor high interactivity with gateway and client messaging
  • Same ignition project with 3 HMI modes: single-screen, dual-screen coupled, dual-screen independent
  • Template canvas, repeater and SQL DB intensive use for automated screen design
  • Thousands of templates and hundreds of UDT definitions for a full object approach of every part of the system (Ignition, PLC, interfaces with other systems)
  • Lots of communication fine-tunes (Scan Class split, windows cached, bulk writes operation, HSQLDB external cache model) for the best response time
  • Equipment data model

Benefits for the customer:

  • Much cheaper and more powerful than other platforms
  • On time and within budget
  • Customer trust despite the multiple software changes due to concurrent engineering
  • Easy-to-use MI/GUI for operation, troubleshooting, and advanced system and equipment diagnostics
  • Fast training course of on-site test team

Project Information

Created By:   Bouygues Energies & Services

Bouygues Energies & Services is present in more than 20 countries. It has 12,500 employees, and is a 100% subsidiary of Bouygues Construction. It has focused on infrastructure, cities, communities, industry, and public and commercial buildings.


Project For:   Rocade L2 De Marseille

This was a very large infrastructure project. It involves 620 billion Euro, 4 years of build (2014-2017), 30 years of maintenance, eight road tunnels, and 6.2 miles of road inside Marseille Town. SRL2 is responsible for the design, construction and financing of L2 as well as the maintenance of the system for 30 years. The operation will be carried out by the Interdepartmental Directorate of Mediterranean Road (DIRMED).

Posted on September 1, 2017