An underwater tunnel across the Bosporus Strait will be completed next year and serve up to 90,000 vehicles a day.

The next phase of construction on a new tunnel between the Asian and European sides of Istanbul is expected to begin soon as the Turkish Minister of Transportation Lütfi Elvan announced that the drilling machine which will dig the new subterranean passage beneath the Bosporus has been installed. The Euroasia Tunnel is being constructed exclusively for use by road vehicles. The tunnel is expected to serve up to 90,000 vehicles a day and consist of two layers, one going in each direction. “With the transportation time decreasing, air pollution and fuel consumption will be reduced in the historical peninsula, which is one of the touristic hot spots in Istanbul with numerous historic buildings, palaces, museums and splendid landscapes,” Elvan said.


The minister said that the excavation phase of the project which will cost more than $2 billion (TL 4.22 billion) in total. The project has already started and the eastwards excavation is 70 percent complete.  “The tunnel drilling machine to be used in the project is specially designed for the ground and pressure conditions of the Bosporus and produced in Germany. The minister further explained that they will enlarge the coastal road between Cankurtaran and Kazlıçeşme to eight lanes within the framework of the project. He noted that the work on the coastal road will start in summer. Elvan highlighted that the coastal road will not be closed off during the work. “We will build two lanes in parallel with the road. Thus, by transferring the traffic, we will raise the standards of the road between Cankurtaran and Kazlıçeşme without obstructing the road at all. The tunnel will enable the vehicles between Bostancı and Kadıköy to transit to Sirkeci-Yenikapı-Zeytinburnu. The project with a length of 14.6 kilometers will start from the Florya-Sirkeci coastal road and finish around the Göztepe junction on the Ankara state highway,” the minister explained.

Lütfi Elvan expressed also that eight underpasses and 10 pedestrian overpasses will be built in addition to restoration of four current junctions within the framework of the project. “Junctions and access roads will be delivered to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality free of charge but travelling through the tunnel will require a fee. The planned charge will be around TL 10. With regard to the fact that this tunnel will be the sixth largest in the world, even fuel efficiency is much higher than the fee. The tunnel is expected to considerably alleviate bridge traffic and remarkably reduce exhaust emissions,” Elvan concluded.

Opened on Oct. 29, 2013, the Marmaray, a sister project to the Euroasia tunnel, is a subway line in Istanbul that passes through the Bosporus, between the Asian district of Üsküdar and the European district of Zeytinburnu. It is also one of the largest transportation investments made yet by the Turkish government, which has called it the “project of the century.” Carrying more than 110,000 passengers per day, the Marmaray has contributed to the traffic flow relief in Istanbul.

Among the improvements is a third bridge on the Bosporus in addition to the thousands of kilometers of high-speed train lines, subway lines, thousands of kilometers of highways and a third airport project to Istanbul, which will be the largest airport in Europe once it is completed. Even Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has emphasized the importance of transportation infrastructure through his popular catch phrase “all roads lead civilization in Turkey.”

Source Daily Sabah

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