Plans for Is­tan­bul mega-tun­nel project in fi­nal phase

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Money -

PLANS for a mas­sive, three­story un­der­wa­ter tun­nel to con­nect the Asian and Euro­pean sides of Is­tan­bul by both rail­ways and high­ways are now in their fi­nal phase, Turkey’s trans­port and in­fra­struc­ture min­is­ter, Mehmet Cahit Turhan, said yes­ter­day.

“We will break new ground by build­ing three sto­ries in one tun­nel,” Turhan said at the Tran­sist 2018 Is­tan­bul Trans­port Congress and Ex­hi­bi­tion.

The 6.5-kilo­me­ter tun­nel, which will be 110 me­ters un­der sea level, will have one two-way rail­way line and two high­ways, ac­cord­ing to the Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture Min­istry.

Turhan said the tun­nel would con­nect nine dif­fer­ent rail­ways used by 6.5 mil­lion peo­ple daily, with an ex­press sub­way.

The tun­nel will also be in­te­grated with two big sub­way lines to link the new Is­tan­bul Air­port and an­other city air­port, Sabiha Gökçen, he said.

“Peo­ple will be able to reach Is­tan­bul Air­port from Sabiha Gökçen in less than an hour with­out chang­ing trains,” he added.

The tun­nel will also re­lieve traf­fic on Is­tan­bul’s two main bridges, the July 15 Mar­tyrs’ Bridge and Fatih Sul­tan Mehmet Bridge, he stressed.

He said Turkey has in­vested TL 515 bil­lion (nearly $240 bil­lion) in trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments over the last 16 years.

The tun­nel project started in 2015 as one of Turkey’s megapro­jects.

Com­pleted megapro­jects in­clude one of the world’s longest bridges, Os­mangazi, one of the world’s big­gest air­ports, Is­tan­bul Air­port, and one of the world’s high­est draw­bridges, Yavuz Sul­tan Se­lim.

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