The opening of the Eurasia Tunnel Project, an undersea highway tunnel connecting the Asian and European sides of Istanbul and going underneath the seabed, has had its opening rescheduled after progress in construction has been faster than planned, and is expected to be opened in December 2016.
Istanbul’s Eurasia Tunnel began construction in January 2014 and was planned to be completed in August 2017.
A 14.6 km road link project between the Kazlicesme and Goztepe regions of Istanbul, including the 5.4 km tunnel, is being undertaken to address Istanbul's increasing traffic problem. The project is expected to reduce the travel time between Kazlicesme and Goztepe from 100 minutes to just 15 minutes.
The construction of the Eurasia Tunnel and road pass has three stages. The first stage of the construction is planned to separate the tunnel’s traffic from city traffic by increasing roadway width along the coastal road from Kazlicesme to Yenikapi in the European side of Istanbul.
The second stage is to build a 5.4 km twin-deck tunnel underneath the seabed of the Bosphorus between Kazlicesme and Goztepe. Turkish newspaper Vatan reported that 75 percent of 3,340-meter tunnel has been completed.
In the third stage, construction of the Asian side segment between Goztepe and Harem involves widening lanes as well as the construction of bridge intersections, overpasses and pedestrian walkways.
The Eurasia Tunnel is Turkey’s second underwater project in Istanbul after the Marmaray railway.
The historic Marmaray railway made its grand opening on 29 October 2013, on the 90th anniversary of Turkish Republic.