The Eurasia Tunnel, one of Turkey's most visionary mega projects, which will allow automobiles to pass beneath Istanbul's Bosporus strait, opens 20 days from now. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will be the first to drive through the tunnel in an opening ceremony on Dec. 20.
Completed in 40 months
With construction completed, the Eurasia Tunnel will be fully operational on Dec. 20. Merging the Asian and European sides of Istanbul by an undersea tunnel, the project took 40 months to complete. Construction of the tunnel was launched in 2011 with a $1.25-million investment and it was built 106 meters below the Bosporus Strait. Moreover, a museum in which the story of the construction of the tunnel will be digitally narrated will also open in the upcoming days.
A few small pieces of the tunnel boring machine, which bored the 106 meter-deep tunnel, and safety helmets signed by state officials who visited the construction will be exhibited in the museum, which is located in the entrance floor of the operation building in Üsküdar. No traffic jams are expected, as tolls will be paid using the same automatic pay system already in use throughout Turkey. Furthermore, drivers will be able to use every lane regardless if they own an OGS (Automatic Toll Pay System) or HGS (Fast Toll Pay System), which are the two automatic systems currently used in Turkey for toll payment. Traffic flow will be checked at the entrance points; when an automobile is detected as traveling less than 20 kph in the tunnel, no additional automobiles will be allowed to enter until the traffic jam is resolved.
Motorcycle fire squad on duty
Fire precautions have been taken for the Eurasia Tunnel, designed in accordance to the highest magnitude earthquake that can only occur every 2,500 years. A specially trained fire squad, equipped with cutting-edge fire extinguishing gear, has been formed to intervene in light vehicle fires. An estimated 100,000 light vehicles will pass through the Eurasian Tunnel every day.