Eastern Anatolia mega tunnel ‘nears completion’
BAYBURT – Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe 6.5-kilometer, twin-tube Mount Kop Tunnel between Bayburt and Erzurum in east-ern Anatolia nearing completion, a Turkish Transportation Ministry official has said.
“We have dug nearly four kilometers so far and are now very near [completion],” Hayri Turgut, a control engineer at the Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Ministry, said June 27.
The Mount Kop Tunnel is situated on the ancient Silk Road route.
“Over 200 people are working day and night on the project. We will do our best to finish the project as soon as possible,” Turgut said.
He said the tunnel would be one of the critical passes of Turkey that would eliminate harsh winter conditions at an altitude of 2,409 meters.
“The tunnel is expected to shorten the travel time to over one hour and will be important both for Turkey and the region,” he added.
The tunnel will be the shortest way to connect Gürbulak, Turkey’s border gate to Iran, and Trabzon port. “When the tunnel is completed, all the domestic and international links will be integrated with Trabzon port,” he said.
The project, which will cost 400 million Turkish Liras (approx. $150 million), was launched in 2012 and is scheduled to finish by the end of 2015.