The project design of the 3 storey grand Istanbul Tunnel has been completed and it is planned to be tendered with the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model. However, what will the effects of this huge investment be on Istanbul?
How will this huge investment affect Istanbul?
As Turkey's most populous city, and one of the largest cities in the world, Istanbul's infrastructure is undergoing massive government investment. With plans in place for over 1000km of metro lines, and nearly 500km of this already under construction, this tunnel presents the most ambitious investment thus far.
The tunnel will be the first in the world to incorporate three tiers - two carrying a highway, and the third for the Sogutlucesme - Incirli metro line. By combining the two, authorities hope to save billions in tunneling costs.
The highway will bypass the second bridge, offering road users an express route between Umraniye on the Asian side and Hasdal on the European side. This portion of the current highway, is under huge pressure from traffic at the moment.
The metro line is expected to replace the ageing metrobus service, a service which runs the length of Istanbul, but is already running three times over its design capacity.
6.5 Million people will use this tunnel each day
Former Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan commented on the mega project, "We anticipate that 120,000 vehicles will pass in the day for vehicle transit, and the metro system will be capable of carrying 1.5 Million people each day. More importantly this metro network will be integrated with other metro networks in Istanbul and serve as the circular highway for all metro lines in Istanbul. "
The metro line is planned to run through key parts of Istanbul, passing through Kadikoy, Uskuduar, Sisli - Mecidiyekoy, Caglayan, Topkapi, Cevizlibag, before terminating in Zeytinburnu.
The tender for the project, which will be built using the Build-Operate-Transfer financial model, is expected in December 2020.