Government clears deck for ‘crazy’ road project

Government clears deck for ‘crazy’ road project

Government clears deck for ‘crazy’ road project

Infrastructure for a large suspension bridge over İzmit Bay is seen above. AA Photo

The tender for the construction of a large canal, publicly known as the “crazy project,” set to create a big island on the European side of Istanbul, will be held soon, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said. The preparations for the tender are continuing, and the goal is to hold it in the first quarter of the year, Erdoğan said during an Istanbul meeting on Jan. 12 with businessmen from Anatolia.

A new tunnel under Istanbul’s Bosphorus, a little toward the southern part, was also among the government’s 2015 plans, daily Hürriyet quoted the prime minister as saying yesterday.

“We will finish the third bridge [over the Bosphorus] the same year,” he said. “We will also finish the third Istanbul airport with an annual capacity of 100 million.”

The “crazy project,” a part of Erdoğan’s election campaign in 2011, involves opening a 45 to 50 kilometer canal that will link the inner Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. This will also help cut the risky tanker traffic through the Bosphorus, according to officials. The canal will be 25 meters deep and up to 150 meters wide.

Separately, the first phase of another large project, the Gebze-İzmir highway, which also includes a 1,700-meter bridge across İzmit Bay, will be finished by 2015 according to the plan, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım told Anatolia news agency. Once finished, the new highway will cut travel time from Istanbul to İzmir, the third largest city in the country, to 3.5 hours from the current 9.