The Ovit Tunnel between the Black Sea and Erzurum is nearing completion after a 10,600-meter-long section of the tunnel located at an altitude of 2,640 meters en route to Rize at Mount Ovit was completed.
At 14,300 kilometers, Ovit Tunnel will be Turkey's longest and the world's second longest tunnel. Constructed with twin tubes, the tunnel project is expected to cost TL 800 million ($250 million). Once it is finished, transportation between the Black Sea region and eastern and southeastern Anatolia, which used to be bogged down by heavy snow and avalanches in winter, will become uninterrupted and safe.
The tunnel's entrance altitude will be 919 meters with an exit altitude of 2,363 meters, and its longitudinal slope will be 2.13.
Stating that the project was one of Turkey's most important and serious investments, an official said: "The tunnel depth will reach up to 850 meters at some sections of the tunnel. The works are still in progress at both sides."
With this tunnel, the 250-kilometer-long Rize-Erzurum highway will be reduced to 200 kilometers. The project is expected to be completed in 2017,.
Around 2.5 and 2.8 kilometers of progress were made in İkizdere and İspir, respectively. A 10.6-kilometer-long drilling operation was completed at both sides. Along with the completion of the Ovit Tunnel, mountain tourism in the eastern Black Sea region is expected to receive a boost.