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A city represents human civilization in one of its most advanced forms. That is why the relationship between infrastructure and urban life is so deep, indivisible, and transformative, as it channels prosperity into social enrichment and, thus, to a much higher quality of life. Cities of Opportunity Report of PwC explains Istanbul’s current condition as one of the most dynamic cities, in need of more hospitals, residential cites, airports and so on. In terms of absolute increase in future demand, the cities that consistently stand out across different infrastructure areas are large emerging cities like Istanbul, Shanghai, Beijing and Sao Paulo.
Spurred on by the rise of real estate sector especially in the last decade, a handful of megaprojects have sprouted up in and around Istanbul. Marmaray, Istanbul’s trans-Bosphorus rail link, finally opened to passengers last year. Istanbul-Ankara High Speed Railway Project is now finished. Here are the other megaprojects under construction in Istanbul.
Asia and Europe to Join Under the Seabed for the First Time via a Highway Tunnel
The Eurasia Tunnel Project (Istanbul Strait Road Crossing Project), whose foundations were cast in 2011, connects the Asian and European sides via a highway tunnel going underneath the seabed.
The Tunnel, which is valued approx. US$1.5 billion, now serves the Kazlıçeşme-Göztepe route where vehicle traffic is most intense in Istanbul and covers a total of 14.6 kilometers. Tunnel pass and road improvement- expansion works cause holistic relief on vehicle traffic. Not only will the travel duration on the route with its highly intensive Istanbul traffic decline from 100 minutes to 15 minutes, but also the privilege of safe and comfortable travel will be experienced. It will also contribute to the reduction of environmental and noise pollution in the city.
The project, which will set up an artificial waterway that will split Istanbul’s European side into two and create an island between the European and Asian sides, is one of the most ambitious and giant projects in Turkey’s history. The 45-to-50-kilometer canal, which will be 25 meters deep and up to 150 meters wide, will link the inner Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. The objectives to construct this canal are to shift tanker traffic from the Bosphorus to Canal Istanbul and to remove the risks of cargo tankers carrying dangerous loads through the Bosphorus every day
Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is a suspension bridge located at the northern end of the Bosphorus, north of the other two bridges, in Istanbul. The bridge is part of the projected 260 km long “Northern Marmara Motorway”, which will bypass urban areas of Istanbul in the north connecting Silivri district in the west and Hendek area in the east. After completed in 2016, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, whose budgeted cost of construction is approx. US$2.5 billion, has become the longest combined motorway/railway bridge of the world and the world’s 9th longest suspension bridge.
As a part of tourism-related investment, Galataport Project basically aims three goals to be accomplished: increase the port’s prestige and realize Istanbul’s tourism potential, make Istanbul a key stop for cruise lines and enable public access to the area and historical sites as well as restoration of surroundings. Galataport is considered to cover a 112,147 m2 project land, which consists of a cruise port, roads, recreational areas and sociocultural facilities. The outcome based on calculations suggests that the budget of this investment will be around US$1 billion.
Istanbul Becomes the Core of Environmentally Friendly Mega Projects
A three-level sub-sea tunnel project has been approved by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality; and the construction has started recently.
The estimated US$3.5 billion mega-project, with 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, is expected to cut travel times to 14 minutes. Bosphorus Bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will be connected to each other once the tunnel is completed.
The three-level tunnel is an environmentally-friendly project. According to calculations, oil consumption will decrease by roughly 54 million liters due to the project and carbon emissions will decrease by 175 tons
per year. The project will not damage the city’s silhouette either.