All roads lead to Turkey
In recent years, mega projects in transportation, infrastructure, energy and defence have gained momentum in Turkey. Projects admired by the whole world are being rapidly implemented.
The list is impressive: Marmaray, Istanbul’s underground crossing point across the Bosphorus; the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the third on the Bosphorus to connect Asian and European sides; (Istanbul’s third airport; the Izmit Gulf crossing bridge to substantially shorten the way between Istanbul and Izmir; the Grand Istanbul Tunnel, the first three-story tunnel in the world. These are just some of Turkey’s mega projects that either have been recently brought to operation or are under rapid construction.
Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge
Also known as the Third Bosphorus Bridge, the construction of the overpass began in 2013. A rail system on the bridge will also transport passengers. The rail system is to be integrated with the submerged tube, called the Marmaray, and the Istanbul Metro will connect Istanbul’s two Istanbul airports with the third airport. Work continues around the clock on the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the widest suspension bridge in the world. The project employs 6,500 workers and 600 engineers. The bridge was co-designed by the civil engineer Michel Virlogeux, from T-Engineering of Switzerland, who is known as the “French bridge master.”
The third airport of the mega-city
With a population exceeding 15 million people, Istanbul is a mega-city and a centre of tourism. International passenger transportation is therefore very important for the city. The great success of Turkish Airlines and its new flight destinations contribute to this. The third airport under construction will boast six runways and will have a capacity of 150 million passengers per year. The opening of the project’s first stage is planned for October 29, 2017. The airport is designed to handle Airbus A380 jumbo jets, the largest commercial aircraft flying today.
The journey between Istanbul and Izmir will take 3.5 hours
Located on one of the densest regions in Turkey in terms of population and industry, the gulf of Marmara has to be crossed in order to travel from Istanbul to Bursa and Izmir, other significant centres of industry. One of the longest suspension bridges of the world, the Izmit Gulf Bridge is under construction on the Marmara gulf to shorten the distance between Istanbul and Izmir by 100 kilometres. Thus the present journey time of eight to ten hours will drop to just three-and-a-half hours.
The 3-story Grand Istanbul Tunnel
One of Istanbul’s newest projects, the 3-story Grand Istanbul Tunnel will herald a new era in transportation. Developed as a global first, instead of crossing with two tunnels in two locations, this implementation will cross the Bosphorus just once using one tunnel, saving the construction of thousands of meters of new tunnels. The project is also an example for the world also in terms of public and private sector collaboration. The subway system will be integrated with nine separate rail systems utilised by 6.5 million passengers daily, and the tunnel will therefore facilitate cross-continental travel. Thanks to its connection to the freeways, access to other city roads will be faster and more convenient. All major arteries will be connected to each other.
With its first stage open since October 2013, Marmaray is an underwater rail road tunnel that connects the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. Marmaray presents a significant contribution to Istanbul’s rail road network with its connections to the subway line and high-speed rail line between Istanbul and Ankara.
And there’s more…
There are also a number of inter-connected maritime sector projects under way. These maritime projects involve the Çandarlı Port on the Aegean sea, the second container port in Mersin on the Mediterranean sea, and the Filyos Port on the Black sea. The present container handling capacity of Turkey will increase three-fold with these projects, which are located on each of the three seas surrounding Turkey.