Turkey to build world’s first 3-storey tunnel under the Bosphorus

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that a new tunnel will be built between the First Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul.  

It is being hailed in Turkey as the world’s first three-level subsea tunnel. 

The $3.5bn project will contain a rail system situated between two highways (pictured) 110 meters under the Bosphorus Strait. 

The 6.5km tunnel aims to boost the number of people travelling between Istanbul’s two sides from 1.6 million a year to 4 million. 

The project will be Turkey’s third sub sea tunnel. The Marmaray tunnel opened in October 2013 and the Eurasia Tunnel is due to open in 2016.

The sun setting over the Bosphorus (Seha Islam/Wikimedia Commons)

Abubekir Taşyürek, AKP party deputy chairman, said: "There is no legal problem regarding the project. We did not rush anything. The Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry, and experts from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality have been working on this project for months.  

"It is also an environmentally-friendly project. According to calculations, fuel 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." 

The tunnel is expected to be built within five years and tendering will take place before the Turkish general election in June. 

Image: Artists depiction of the cross section of the tunnel showing the two highways and rail system (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality)

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  1. What construction method will be adopted for construction the subsea tunnel? What is the diameter of the sub-sea tunnel? What air pressure will be applied for the tunneling?

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