Twelve companies have submitted bids for research, project and engineering services for the three-level Grand Istanbul Tunnel megaproject. A total of 23 companies had received the project’s specifications.
The tender for the tunnel project, which aims to relieve Istanbul’s heavy traffic, was held at the General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments on December 22. The tender commission, led by Infrastructure Investments Deputy General Manager Metin Akbaş, was closed to the press while bids are evaluated.
The engineering studies will be conducted on land, sea and estuary drilling, and include geophysical, geotechnical and geological conditions, routes and preliminary and final feasibility surveys to determine ground data. The studies are due to be finalized within a year of the tender process.
The Grand Istanbul Tunnel was one of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s most important election promises as the government seeks to find a solution to Istanbul’s traffic problems. With the outcome of the November 1st elections, which saw the Justice and Development party win with nearly 50 percent of the vote, the implementation of the megaproject has gained momentum.
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The single-tube three-level tunnel, which will pass beneath the Bosporus, will comprise both road and rail transportation. The middle layer will have a twin-track railway, while the upper and lower levels will be built to accommodate two lanes of vehicles running in a single direction.
The $3.5 billion tunnel will be integrated into Istanbul’s existing highway and railway lines and is aimed at easing the city’s intense traffic. The metro line will enable 40-minute travel from İncirli to Söğütlüçeşme, and a 14-minute journey by car from Hasdal crossroads to the Ümraniye Çamlık crossroad.
The new tunnel project combines the “fast metro tunnel project,” which will run from Bakırköy-İncirli – the in E-5 axis – and reach Söğütlüçeşme, similar to the Marmaray tunnel; and the “highway tunnel” with 2 x twin lanes similar to the Eurasia Tunnel – located on the TEM highway axis – in order to decrease the traffic on the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the second bridge on the Bosporus.
The tunnel will enable faster and cheaper transportation between the two sides of Istanbul, integrating nine different urban train systems with a fast metro track that will be used approximately by 6.5 million passengers on a daily basis. It will also enable easier and faster connections to ring roads; connecting all main arterial roads.