The year 2016 was indeed characterized by mega projects in Turkey. Reports from the Anadolu Agency however indicates that the Gebze-Orhangazi-İzmir Highway Project that is equally known as the Istanbul-İzmir Highway, continued at top speed. According to reports, this project, which is expected to connect Istanbul, Yalova, Bursa, and İzmir will serve the entire region with approximately 38 million people. Besides, another huge benefit of this project is the fact that it is going to reduce the travel time from Istanbul to Bursa to an hour. Similarly, the travel time from Istanbul to Eskisehir and Izmir will be reduced to two and a half and three hours respectively. In the same vein, the travel time between the southeastern Aegean region and Antalya will also be shortened as well. According to reports, a 40-kilometer section of the 433-kilometer highway is already open, meanwhile the Osman Gazi suspension bridge is expected to open in late May after the completion of its superstructure.
Some other projects for 2016 nevertheless include the following;
1. Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge
The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is expected to be the world’s widest bride by the time it is completed. It is however worth mentioning that this bridge is part of the North Marmara Highway Project. The bridge which has 120-km highway as well as an access road is expected to open on August 26.
2. Eurasia Undersea Tunnel
The Eurasia Undersea project is often described by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the vision project. The project also known as the Istanbul Bosporus Highway Tube Passage is considered one of the world’s best engineering projects that connects the continents of Asia and Europe.
According to reports, the tunnel will be the deepest undersea tunnel and the underwater section of the 14.6km project is 3.4km. This project which is known to have employed about 800 people will contribute TL 560 million ($191.3 million) annually to the region. The tunnel is expected to go operational by the end of the year.
3. Three-level Istanbul Tunnel
Bids for the contract for the three level Grand Istanbul Tunnel project were submitted last year to Turkey’s General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments. Reports nevertheless have it that this project is the first of its kind in Turkey.
The first stage of this project is however the fast metro tunnel project starting from Bakırköy-İncirli at the E-5 axis on the European side to Söğütlüçeşme on the Anatolian side. Meanwhile, the second stage is the highway tunnel that comprises of two lanes in each direction
starting from the Hasdal Intersection on the TEM highway axis on the Anatolian side and connecting to Çamlık intersection on the European side.
4. Historical Silk Road
Another project that is expected to come into fruition by the end of the year is the
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Project that is also dubbed the Iron Silk Road. Reports however indicate that this road is the third-largest project by the three countries. This road will however have the capacity of carrying 1 million passengers and 6.5 tons of cargo when it becomes operational. There are nevertheless indications that the line would be able to carry 3 million passengers and 17 million tons by 2035.