In a bid to improve the traffic connection between the European and Asian parts of Istanbul, the 5.4 km Eurasia Tunnel development was proposed. The tunnel was recently opened, reducing travel time between Kazlicesme and Goztepe from 100 minutes to 15 minutes. As part of the advisory support for the development of the tunnel, which is projected to be used by more than 100,000 vehicles per day, Arup was hired.
The 5.4 km Eurasia Tunnel, which connects Kumkapi on the European and Kosuyolu on the Asian part of Istanbul, opened late last year. The tunnel itself involves 3.4 kilometers of twin-decked road running 106 meters beneath the Bosphorus seabed. The tunnel improves connectivity within wider Istanbul and reduces the traveling time between Kazlicesme and Goztepe from 100 minutes to 15 minutes – for a small toll. In total projections indicate that more than 100,000 vehicles per day will use the tunnel, with the major investor Eurasia Tunnel Operation Construction and Investment (ATAS) to operate the tunnel for 24 years.
As part of the development of the project ATAS commissioned professional services firm Arup to provide a range of advisory and technical services, including lenders' technical advisory services during the design phase and traffic audit services, as well as construction monitoring services during the later phases of the project. For the project lenders’ the firm offered, among others, review and commentary on the design, the traffic models and economics, the construction and operation proposals, the environmental impact and stakeholder consultations.
Commenting on the project, H.E. Binali Yildrim, the Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of Turkey, says “In this benchmark project, which we are working to accomplish for Istanbul, a world capital located at the meeting point of cultures, civilizations, of East and West, all our efforts are concentrated on elevating our citizens and country to a respectable position as members of a nation that builds roads and paves the way for its future as defined a national target by Atatürk.”
Nigel Hailey, Project Director at Arup, states, “We are very proud to have been associated with the delivery of this major road tunnel project which is the first intercontinental road tunnel in the world. This important connection brings two continents together, reduces congestion in and around Istanbul and improves the journey times between Kazlicesme and Göztepe.”