One of the most dangerous roads in the world, the Zojila Pass (or Zoji La – mountain pass of blizzards) runs through the Himalayan Mountain Range.

The remote Ladakh region of India is cut off for six months each year, as roads become inaccessible due to heavy snow and the threat of avalanches.  Global SMEC teams are delivering the most techno-economic solutions to deliver the highway segment between the Z-Morh tunnel and Zojila tunnel. The project will provide safe and reliable all-weather connectivity for the communities with wider India.


While offering spectacular views, the road is unpaved, treacherous and prone to geological uncertainties. The construction of the Zojila tunnel road will ensure all-weather connectivity. Despite numerous difficulties and delays, the 6.6 km long Z-Morh tunnel is currently under construction and the 14 km long Zojila Tunel is in pre-construction stage.


SMEC was engaged  in 2018 to design the highway segment between these two tunnels, incorporating avalanche protection works to ensure the road is accessible all year. The highway is a two-lane road with paved shoulders configurations. Collaborating with global SMEC from Australia and South Africa, delivered innovative detailed design for the bridges, assessment of the avalanches, and the selection and design of protection structures.


Objectives of the project are to:

  • Provide all-year connectivity for the remote communities of Ladakh and parts of Kashmir with wider India.
  • Reducing travel time along the Zojila Pass from 3.5 hours to approximately 15 minutes.
  • Attract tourism and link local businesses to the national market through the safety, reliability and comfort of the new route.



Talk to one of our specialists about our role on Zojila Tunnel Road.