In the presence of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister Ben Ali Yildirim, and number of foreign guests, Eurasia Tunnel, which links between the continents of Europe and Asia underneath the Sea of Marmara, and which is the world's sixth-longest tunnel, was opened yesterday, Tuesday.
The tunnel is supposed to be a practical solution to the problem of traffic in Istanbul, since it will reduce the travel time between the European and Asian sides of the city from 100 minutes to just 15 minutes.
It is expected that the tunnel will serve more than 100 thousand cars a day. Moreover, to avoid traffic jams, the automated system (OGS) has been adopted to collect the transit fee. The cost of crossing the tunnel in the first year will be 4 dollars (about 15 Turkish liras) for cars, and 6 dollars for the small buses and that will be for crossing to one direction, and the maximum speed inside the tunnel will be 77 km / h.
The tunnel consists of two stories with 14.5 km long, 5.4 km of it are underneath the Bosphorus Strait, with a high of 14 meters. Furthermore, it is equipped to resist earthquakes up to 7.5 on Richter scale, and can be used as a shelter when necessary. Besides, the tunnel will provide mobile data service 4.5G without interruption at the level of 106 meters submarine, it also will provide broadcast to 16 radio stations. Additionally, it is characterized by advanced lighting techniques, ventilation system with high capacity, and emergency evacuation.
The cost of the project amounted up to 1.246 billion dollars, however, the project consumed nothing from the Turkish Treasury as stated by the Turkish president; private companies will operate the project for the coming 25 years, and then the tunnel will belong to the people, and the share of the Turkish treasury of the returns of the tunnel during the next 25 years will be 180 million Turkish liras annually.
The project is of great importance in terms of the recovery of the Turkish economy, since it would provide 160 million Turkish liras annually from fuel, and it will save for its passengers nearly 25 million hours a year, wasted in transiting between the two sides of the city.
The construction of the tunnel is supervised by both Yapi Merkezi, Turkish company specialized in building and the South Korean S K Company.
It is worth mentioning that the project has been selected by the American Engineering News Record Magazine as the best tunnel project across the world for the year of 2016.