Istanbul’s famous İstiklal Avenue getting facelift
Major construction efforts are continuing on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue to renew the famous street, with authorities releasing photos of the planned changes following criticism from social media users at the ugly state of the major pedestrian thoroughfare.
The project includes environmental, infrastructure and superstructure planning, as well as the renewal of the nostalgic tramway line on the avenue, Anadolu Agency reported.
The project aims to eliminate the problem of flooding that often takes place in the basements of buildings and businesses on İstiklal stemming from a lack of capacity.
The latest flooding took place on May 7, when a sudden heavy downpour caused flooding on the avenue.
All infrastructure on the street is being renewed as part of a project that was launched in December last year; two kilometers of rain infrastructure and 1.5 kilometers of wastewater infrastructure has been completed so far. Officials expect to finish the infrastructure efforts within 20 days and put an end to the flooding of the buildings and the streets following downpours by separating the sewage and rain water lines that previously flowed together.
Moreover, the project aims to remove the sight of constant excavations on the street. Accordingly, efforts will be able to ensure that future interventions do not require the conducting of excavations on the street. In line with the aim, a total of 70 corrugated pipes and 310 new accesses will be constructed to provide access to the pipes. Some 30 percent of the pipes will be left empty, thus removing the necessity for open excavation.
In order to prevent pedestrians and vehicles from suffering during construction works, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality carried out cementation and bituminization works in the areas affected.
“With the help of that, citizens have the opportunity to walk on the street easily without getting mud splashed on their feet,” Anadolu Agency said, adding that no problems were experienced in entrances and exits to the buildings and shops with the specially designed pedestrian bridges.
New tramway rails manufactured with vibration isolation elastomer materials will be laid down on the Beyoğlu nostalgic tramway line that was ripped out as part of the renewal process. With the elastomer coating, no vibration will be conveyed to the surrounding of the rails and no damage will occur to the coatings.
The vibration isolation technology will also help prevent fractures in the ground on İstiklal Avenue stemming from vibration.
Furthermore, all of the energy cables of the tramway and the street lighting will be renewed.
Infrastructure lines totaling 100 kilometers in length will be constructed for infrastructure institutions such as the Istanbul Natural Gas Authority (İGDAŞ) and Istanbul Waterworks Authority (İSKİ).
The vibration created by the tramway and the infrastructure excavations on the streets have made the renewal of the upper tiles on the street a necessity.
As part of the second phase of the project, natural granite stones that are resistant to blows will be laid on the street over a 25,500-square-meter area.
Infrastructure efforts are also expected to be launched in the near future from two different spots. There will be no construction late on weekends, especially on Saturday nights, due to the high density on the street.
In addition, the construction area will be covered with boards that are 1.70 meters high.