Eurasia Tunnel to open earlier than planned
AA photoThe Eurasia Tunnel, a roadway tunnel connecting Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, will come into service earlier than planned, according to Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım, who said the project will be completed in the second half of 2017.
“We will complete the project eight months earlier than planned. We will complete the project within a short period of time, like 47 months,” Yıldırım told journalists on May 12, adding it made him proud that the project would be completed earlier than scheduled.
“Despite the very hard physical conditions such as passing under the [Bosphorus] Strait, it is a big success that we completed it earlier than planned with the advanced technology and engineering that was used,” Yıldırım added.
The two continents have been connected by a 3.34-km-long tunnel under the sea in the framework of the project, which is also dubbed the Istanbul Straight Road Crossing Project and the sibling of the Marmaray, which also connects the continents with a rail tunnel below the Bosphorus.
Saying that the total length of the tunnel will be 14.6 kilometers, Yıldırım added it would have three main parts.
“We completed the most important part of the Eurasia Tunnel project in August 2015, which is the 3.34 km-long strait passage, but there are two more important parts including the road and intersection arrangements on the European and Asian sides. I mean the linking roads,” he said.
Stressing that the project received the “Big Project of the Year” award in 2015 from the International Tunnel and Underground Structures Union for the advanced technology used, Yıldırım said the tunnel carried significance for both Turkey and Istanbul.
Yıldırım also said the total investment amount for the project was more than $1.245 billion.
“With the Eurasia Tunnel, which our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gives great importance to, we will make Istanbul gain the most advanced and modern road passage tunnel in the world. Cars are [currently] traveling between the two continents over the Boğaziçi [Bosphorus] and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges. Railway transportation is provided with the Marmaray. There will be both a road and a railway on the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge. We will have four road passages between the two continents when the Eurasia Tunnel is finished,” said Yıldırım, adding that the traffic “torment” in Istanbul will vanish.
Saying that up to a 100,000 cars will be able to use the tunnel, Yıldırım stressed that security measures will be at the highest level, due to the tunnel having two stories.