A tender process for a project linking Istanbul’s Fatih and Beyoğlu districts through an undersea tunnel passing beneath the Golden Horn (Haliç) waterway is set to begin this month, with construction of the tunnel expected to be completed within 700 days. The Atatürk Bridge over the Golden Horn will be demolished as part of the project.
With the plan approved by the Istanbul Municipality, ground traffic connecting Fatih’s Unkapanı area to the Şişhane, Kasımpaşa and Karaköy areas in Beyoğlu will be taken completely underground, with a 900-meter-long tunnel that will have a total of six equally divided lanes.
According to the project, the tunnel will be built some eight-and-a-half meters below the water level and the water flow, which is limited due to the Atatürk Bridge above, will be enhanced, thus contributing to the cleaning of the waterway.
Floating piers will also be part of the project, constructed in such a way as to allow them to open or close for vessels passing through the waterway.
The project aims to showcase the historic buildings by the Golden Horn coast, creating recreational green areas. The Atatürk Bridge, constructed over the Golden Horn between 1936 and 1940, will be demolished.
The project will also be extended to include rearrangements around the historic Sokollu Mehmet Paşa Mosque built by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan in 1572.
Meanwhile, with its 16.3-billion-Turkish-Lira investment budget for 2016, the Istanbul Municipality has accelerated transportation infrastructure works as it prepares to initiate a tender process in July and August for six new metro lines in the city.
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş announced on April 20 that eight new metro lines, along with a pedestrian sub-sea tunnel, were planned to be built during his third term, which he described as his “mastership term.”
“We have allocated a great part of our investments into transportation and we gave priority to the metro,” said Topbaş, adding that the preparations for eight separate rail systems totaling 100 kilometers in length had been completed and that they would go out to tender in a month.
According to the project, the rail system routes in Istanbul will include: Yenіdoğan-Çekmeköy-Sultanbeylі; Pendіk-Kaynarca-Tuzla; Bağcılar-Kіrazlı-Halkalı; Göztepe-Ataşehіr-Ümranіye; Emіnönü-Alіbeyköy; Sefaköy-Başakşehіr; Başakşehіr-Kayaşehіr and Mahmutbey-Esenyurt, along with Beşіktaş-Sarıyer; Üsküdar-Beykoz and Ayazağa-İstіnye lines.
It has also been announced that construction of a transfer center in Istanbul’s Kabataş area would begin on July 28 and ferries and boats using the Kabataş stop would be temporarily directed to other ports in the city.
In May the municipality approved a zoning plan to build a “seagull-shaped” transfer center merging sea, rail and land transportation lines on the Kabataş coastline.