Istanbul gears up for mass underground tunnel project up to 2023
ISTANBULThe Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is set to build 28 transport tunnels across major parts of the city, amounting to 145 kilometers in length and expected to be completed by 2023, pro-government daily Yeni Şafak reported on Oct. 27.
According to the project, 17 tunnels totaling 98 kilometers in length will be completed by 2019 and 11 tunnels totaling 47 kilometers will be constructed after 2019 for completion by 2023.
Some 22 tunnels will be located on the European side of the notoriously traffic-snarled city, while six of them will cover the Asian side. Construction of the Kasımpaşa-Sütlüce and Libadiye-Çamlıca tunnels, which are 5.78 kilometers long, have already reached an end.
The tunnels project aims to provide undisrupted transportation over long distances in the city. Through a tunnel that begins from the Kağıthane district of Istanbul, for example, vehicles will be able to reach Bayrampaşa district and from there arrive in the Bağcılar district.
Another tunnel to be built between Dolmabahçe and Levazım, extending to Ayazağa and then to Baltalimanı and Çayıbaşı, will make the Beşiktaş-Sarıyer route more direct. A 52 kilometer-long tunnel that will extend from Kağıthane to Büyükçekmece, meanwhile, will connect six districts of Istanbul.
In the projects due to be launched after 2019, Davutpaşa will be linked to Samatya, Merter will be linked to Kazlıçeşme, and Kadıköy will be linked to the Kuşdili area.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality had in June unanimously approved the underground tunnel project inspired by Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, in a bid to ease congestion by taking 300,000 vehicles underground with its “dive in, dive out” model.
Istanbul was in April 2015 ranked as the world’s worst city for traffic congestion by GPS maker TomTom.
According to the project, a six-tunnel-road passing through the Büyükçekmece, Esenyurt, Avcılar, Küçükçekmece, Bahçelievler, Bayrampaşa, Kağıthane and Sarıyer districts will be constructed on Istanbul’s European side and will be connected to the TEM highway and the D100 highway.
Most of the areas where the tunnels will be constructed are already built on, with some included in disaster risk areas but some within unplanned area borders. Parts of the Sarıyer-Kilyos section of the project, however, are under protection as natural areas.