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mega-project

mega project Kanal IstanbulThe population of the town to be built around new Turkey’s mega project Kanal Istanbul has been reduced to 500,000 upon the order of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Furthermore, tall buildings will not be included in the project that will connect the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. The Turkish Sabah daily revealed the first visuals prepared for showing how Kanal Istanbul will look when it is completed. The details of the project were determined in the meeting held last month with Erdoğan, and it was decided that natural water resources and green areas around the canal will be preserved as much as possible. The population of the new city has now been decreased from 1.2 million to 500,000.

A quarter of a million people will reside on both sides of the canal, and natural flora will be preserved along the bridges over the canal in order for animals to continue living in their natural environments. Millions of cubic meters of excavation soil from the project will be used in the port and airport construction and in the closure of the canal.

World giants are interested in the project

The tendering process will commence within the coming weeks, and the mega project worth $10 billion will gradually be put out for tender. The feasibility works of the project has been completed, and it was noted that MWH Global, which built the Panama Canal, is interested in the project along with leading firms from China, Italy and Russia. Six bridges will be built across the canal, which will be 43 km long and 400 meters wide on average. Four of these bridges will be connected to main highway routes.

V-shape

Due to the high number of areas requiring expropriation, the previous area proposed for the project was amended. Now, the canal will only cross through the districts of Küçükçekmece, Başakşehir and Arnavutköy. The polluted Küçükçekmece Lake will be added to the canal, while the Sazlıdere Dam has been excluded from the scope of the project. Moreover, the shape of Kanal Istanbul will be v-shaped, while the width of the lower part will be 100 meters. The distance between the two lines of the v-shape could reach 520 meters with a depth reaching 25 meters.

Archaeological parks

Forest areas, rivers and river beds will be preserved, and open-air areas will include preserved biodiversity, open-air facilities, recreational areas, small-scale food production and flora consisting of various trees. Archaeological parks will also be built, and a zoo will be constructed close to the forest area as a part of the open-air network.

Upon the instruction of Erdoğan, the buildings will have a maximum of six floors, and taller buildings will be constructed away from the canal. The canal will be built to allow the passage of large vessels. After the completion of the new urban design plan according to the new population, a zoning plan will be issued. The zoning plan process will be conducted by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and BİMTAŞ, which is a company belonging to the municipality.

Maximum six floors

The city to be built around the canal will have a unique silhouette and will be built gradually, starting from villa-type buildings to six-floor housing projects. It was indicated that the tallest buildings will be located away from the canal and open-air areas within the settlement area in the “Analysis of the Number of Floors” and accordingly, the view of the canal from the settlement areas have been maximized. The analysis also stressed that business centers will lie along a north-south direction along the east bank of the canal and that the highest buildings will be grouped around metro stations.

End of traffic in the Bosporus

With the completion of Kanal Istanbul, two peninsulas and one island will be formed. Moreover, the project aims at putting an end to heavy Bosporus shipping traffic. Approximately 150 to 160 vessels will pass through the canal on a daily basis. The project aims to offer easy access to all business centers, industrial areas and workplaces with its multiple-model approach. Bridges will support infrastructure and settlement efficiency, and gain the most benefit out of various public transportation routes. Large intersections and fast train stops are shown in a white circle on the project file submitted to Erdoğan, while local metro and tram stations are marked with a thicker line. Furthermore, these areas link large settlement areas with strategic business centers, and links between all other transportation methods have been shown in the project file.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has announced an estimated $3.5 billion mega-project for a three-level sub-sea tunnel under Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait, which will connect the city’s two sides with one railway and two highways, cutting travel times to 14 minutes.

“The three-level mega-project will be the signal flare of the Turkish Republic, the fourth global state in Istanbul after three empires,” he told a publicity meeting for the “Grand Istanbul Tunnel” at the Istanbul Congress Center on Feb. 27.

Davutoğlu described the 6.5 km-long tunnel as the first of its kind in the world, comprised of one rail system between two highways for motor vehicles 110 meters under the Bosphorus Strait.

He said the Bosphorus Bridge, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (currently under construction) will be connected to each other once the tunnel is completed.
“The tunnel will both reduce the traffic load on the bridges and enable maximum time saving,” Davutoğlu added.

The tunnel is planned to be integrated into nine railed systems and connected to the Marmaray line, and will connect Istanbul’s three airports and nine rail systems with land routes.

6.5 million passengers

Prime Minister Davutoğlu said the transportation capacity of the tunnel will be 6.5 million passengers, adding that the structure will increase the annual figure crossing Istanbul’s two sides from 1.6 million to 4 million.

He also trumpeted the green credentials of the project, which he claimed would curb greenhouse gas emissions by 110,000 tons a year.

The new route will shorten the journey time to 14 minutes between the Arnavutköy district on the European side and the Küçüksu district on the Anatolian side, where the two tunnel exits will be built.
As for security in the tunnel, Davutoğlu said fire detection and alarm systems and surveillance cameras will be placed all along its length as well as at waiting spots every 500 meters.

The railway level of the tunnel will also be equipped with automatic signaling and auto-deceleration and acceleration systems.

Davutoğlu added that the tender bids for the project will be completed before the June 7 general election, and they aimed to put the tunnel into service within five years.

’10 months of intense work’

Speaking at the opening of the publicity meeting, Transport Minister Lütfi Elvan said the mega-project is the product of around 10 months of intense work, in which they analyzed Istanbul’s route profile and the demands of the passengers.

Elvan emphasized that the tunnel would increase the role of the railway system in public transportation in Istanbul.

The sub-sea tunnel will be built with a “build-operate-transfer model” in the form of a public-private-partnership scheme, so “the state will not pay a single penny,” he said.

Some 2,800 workers are planned to be employed throughout the construction of the project and 800 workers once it goes into operation.

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