Cars to pass under Istanbul's Bosphorus 'by end of 2016'
Construction on Istanbul’s Eurasia Tunnel and roadway began in February and had been expected to be completed in August 2017. DHA PhotoA roadway tunnel connecting Istanbul’s European and Asian sides will be completed by the end of 2016, earlier than was planned, Transport Minister Lütfi Elvan said during a visit to the tunnel’s construction site on Oct. 28.
Construction on Istanbul’s Eurasia Tunnel and roadway began in February and was expected to be completed in August 2017. However, the construction will reportedly now be completed by the end of 2016.
“The construction of a third of the tunnel is completed. We hope to complete the tunnel earlier than we had planned. Some 100,000 cars are expected to pass through the tunnel on a daily basis as soon as the project comes online,” Elvan said, adding that the tunnel would be able to handle 130,000 cars a day.
He said the project would help ease the chronic traffic jams in Istanbul, which is home to more than 3 million registered vehicles.
“Although the number of cars registered in Istanbul has increased by 70 percent since the end of 1990, we have not seen such an increase in the number of cars passing over the two bridges on the Bosphorus as the bridges have been used to their maximum capacity from the very beginning," he said.
"We believe the traffic will ease with the opening of the third bridge over the Bosphorus in the next year and the Eurasia Tunnel in 2015. This tunnel will decrease the number of cars crossing over the bridges on Bosphorus by around 10 percent,” Elvan added.
Some 1.5 million people cross from the European to the Asian side of Istanbul every day.
The total distance of the new tunnel will be 5.4 kilometers, 3.34 kilometers of which will be under the sea. With the access roads, the Eurasia Tunnel Project’s total distance will be 14.6 kilometers. At its deepest point, the tunnel will be 106.4 meters below the surface.
The Eurasia Tunnel is Istanbul’s second underwater project after the Marmaray railway, which was opened amid much fanfare last year.