Cylindrical concrete blocks known as “bored piles” are the last resort for Ambarlı, a neighborhood on Istanbul’s European side with unstable ground that is subject to landslides. Locals hail the work while lamenting that 57 buildings had to be demolished in the past.
Workers started installing the bored piles 1 1/2 months ago, and a total of 736 bored piles, each measuring 30 meters (98.4 feet) long, will ensure the neighborhood on the coast of the Marmara Sea stands firm. The bored piles will cover an area of 1 square kilometer (247 acres) in the neighborhood, which was among the places in Istanbul affected by a 1999 earthquake that struck northwestern Turkey.
Since the disaster, the ground has become unstable, and in 2005, it was declared “a disaster risk area.” The demolition of buildings followed, despite opposition from locals. Finally, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) came up with the bored pile project after consulting with scientists. The bored piles will stop the neighborhood from sliding toward its northern borders.
Fatih Güçlü, head of the construction crew, said the neighborhood had been gradually sliding up to 900 meters before and the piles would keep it firm. “The ground here is really problematic. You often encounter sand, water and mud while digging,” he told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Monday.
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