Over 1.7 million vehicles used Istanbul-İzmir highway during Eid al-Adha: Minister
Eray Görgülü – ANKARA
Some 1,745,614 vehicles used the newly opened Istanbul-İzmir highway during the period of Aug. 10 - 18, covering the Eid al-Adha holiday, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan has said.
“This number has passed over 50 percent of the number guaranteed [as per the build-operate-transfer model]. So, our citizens have given the best answer to those who objected to this mega project just for the sake of opposition,” Turhan told reporters in the capital Ankara on Aug. 21.
“We can understand what an important need the Istanbul-İzmir highway – including the Osmangazi Bridge – is, thanks to the attention it has received during the Eid al-Adha holiday from our citizens,” he said.
The Istanbul-İzmir highway project has a total length of 426 kilometers, including a 384-kilometer highway and 42 kilometers of the access road. The Osmangazi Bridge, a key plank of the project, was already opened in 2016. Just on the Osmangazi Bridge alone, 353,739 vehicles passed during the Eid al-Adha holiday, said Turhan.
The new Istanbul-İzmir highway has allowed people to circumvent city traffic which they previously had to get into to travel between the two metropolises. The new highway will lead to a “time saving” of 228 Turkish Liras (approximately $40), whereas the saving in fuel consumption will be 76 liras (approximately $13), according to Turhan.
“With the usage of the highway, it is predicted that there will be a decrease of 26 kilograms in the CO2 emission per automobile, whereas a decrease of 375,000 tons [in CO2 emission] in total for all vehicle types per year,” said Turhan.
“In the upcoming years, the benefit of this project and other project made similarly by the build-operate-transfer model will be understood much more. Apart from ensuring that our citizens travel in the safest and fastest way possible, the Istanbul-İzmir highway project will be a very big push factor in the development of the region’s trade and industry. Thanks to the project, in the near future, the industry and economy of the Yalova, Bursa, Balıkesir and Manisa provinces, as well as surrounding provinces, will significantly develop. New investments will be made one after another in the region,” he said.