Marmaray tunnel will be the ‘strongest structure of Istanbul,’ Turkish minister says
Vahap MUNYAR ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
This file photo shows the construction work carried out for Marmaray tunnel project, which is slated to be inaugurated on Oct 29. The tunnel will run parallel to the seismic fault line in the Marmara Sea, which reduces risks of earthquake, minister Binali Yıldırım has said, averting the safety criticisms. Hürriyet photoIstanbul’s grand Marmaray tunnel project, which is expected to be opened to use on Oct. 29, the day of Turkey’s Republic Day holiday, has been determined as the “safest structure” in Istanbul in the event of a future earthquake, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım told a group of journalists on Oct. 23.
Speaking on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plane returning from Kosovo, Yıldırım referred to a report by the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute of Boğaziçi University, according to daily Hürriyet columnist Vahap Munyar.
Munyar wrote that the minister sought to respond to criticisms about the safety risks of the Marmaray tunnel, saying the tunnel ran parallel to the seismic fault line in the Marmara Sea, which reduces risks.
Yıldırım reportedly said an earthquake of 9 or 10 on the Richter scale would possibly cause a leakage of water in the tunnel and that preparations were in place for such a “disaster scenario.” Two doors on each side of the tunnel will be automatically closed in a way to avoid water leaking into the tunnel, he added.
He also said the Electrical and Mechanical (E&M) systems of the section that will be opened to use on Oct. 29 were all ready.
Trains are scheduled to leave from Istanbul’s European side district of Kazlıçeşme to reach Söğütlüçeşme on the Anatolian side, emerging from underground at the Ayrılıkçeşme station after 13.5 kilometers.
Two different lines of high speed trains will soon be joined into the Marmaray route, resulting in a 63-kilometer transportation network through the city.
The biggest obstacle to the project’s completion has been the discovery of 40,000 artifacts at Yenikapı. These artifacts were removed with the assistance of the Transportation Ministry and other state authorities, but were then controversially stored in depots due to budget constraints.