The first road tunnel under the Bosphorus in Turkey's biggest city will significantly reduce travel time between Istanbul's Asian and European sides.

The Euroasia Tunnel is an engineering feat that will connect Europe and Asia in Istanbul.
The Euroasia Tunnel is an engineering feat that will connect Europe and Asia in Istanbul.

The first car tunnel between Europe and Asia was opened on Tuesday by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, linking the two sides of Turkey's largest city underneath the Bosphorus Strait. Istanbul is the only city that straddles the two continents in this way.

The Eurasian Tunnel will reduce driving time for the route from up to 2 hours down to 15 minutes. The tunnel is 14.6 km (9 miles) long, including 5.4 km (3.3 miles) that runs under the strait.

It cost $1.3 billion (1.15 billion euro) and has taken five years to construct.

TRT World's Jon Brain reports from the opening ceremony.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies