Turkish PM presents Istanbul sea tunnel mega-project
Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu has announced an estimated $3.5 billion mega-project for a three-level sub-sea tunnel under Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait, which will connect the city's two sides with one railway and two highways, cutting travel times to 14 minutes.
"The three-level mega-project will be the signal flare of the Turkish Republic, the fourth global state in Istanbul after three empires," he told a publicity meeting for the "Grand Istanbul Tunnel" at the Istanbul Congress Center on Feb. 27.
Davuto?lu described the 6.5 km-long tunnel as the first of its kind in the world, comprised of one rail system between two highways for motor vehicles 110 meters under the Bosphorus Strait.
He said the Bosphorus Bridge, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (currently under construction) will be connected to each other once the tunnel is completed.
"The tunnel will both reduce the traffic load on the bridges and enable maximum time saving," Davuto?lu added.
The tunnel is planned to be integrated into nine railed systems and connected to the Marmaray line, and will connect Istanbul's three airports and nine rail systems with land routes.
6.5 million passengers
Prime Minister Davuto?lu said the transportation capacity of the tunnel will be 6.5 million passengers, adding that the structure will increase the annual figure crossing Istanbul's two sides from 1.6 million to 4 million.
He also trumpeted the green credentials of the project, which he claimed would curb greenhouse gas emissions by 110,000 tons a year.
The new route will shorten the journey time to 14 minutes between the Arnavutköy district on the European side and the Küçüksu district on the Anatolian side,...