The Eurasia Tunnel Project, which has been contracted by the General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications (AYGM) under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model on the Kazlicesme-Goztepe line and carried out by the collaboration of Yapi Merkezi and SK E&C partnership, was awarded with one of the most prestigious engineering awards before it was commissioned. Eurasia Tunnel, which allows intercontinental journeys with an automobile from under the sea in 5 minutes, has added the world’s “Best Tunnel Project” award among the many prestigious awards it has received.
The project applauded by the world
The Eurasia Tunnel was selected this year in the category of tunnels and bridges for the award to determine “Best Projects around the World” every year by the Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine, which has been leading the construction sector since it was first published in 1874 in the USA. Editors of the Engineering News Record (ENR) Magazine selected Eurasia Tunnel as the “Best Tunnel Project in the World” for 2016. Editors of Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine list hundreds of topics and projects worthy of being published every year, and the most attractive projects are rewarded.
On October 11, 2016, the officials of Yapi Center and SK E&C, investors of the project, as well as leading international technical consultants who contributed to the project participated in the awards ceremony held in New York City, where ENR magazine was headquartered. Mr. Ersin Arioglu, Chairman of Yapi Merkezi Holding, Mr. Basar Arioglu, Chairman of ATAS and Seok Jae Seo, CEO of ATAS, and members of ATAS Board of Directors attended the ceremony.
Arioglu: “The Eurasia Tunnel started a new era”
Receiving the award, Basar Arioglu said that the Eurasia Tunnel is a source of engineering pride for both Turkey and the world. Stating that they implemented a project in Istanbul that attracted the attention of the world, Arioglu said: “If man and machine are integrated together, a ‘work of art’ like a ‘symphony’ will emerge. Achieving to construct a tunnel of 13.7 meters in diameter, descending through 106 meters of depth, and making it long-lived and secure, in a very complex and seismically active geological structure, made the project ‘unique’ and attracted the attention of the world. With the Eurasia Tunnel, tunneling concepts have changed. From now on, the tunnels will be regarded as clean and aesthetic constructions instead of being designed and built as narrow, dark and dirty underground structures that drivers disliked and did not want to use. The successful commissioning of our project will be encouraging for many projects that have not been dared so far; will launch a new trend of tunneling with greater depth, greater diameter, and more distance. For these reasons, we have described the Eurasia Tunnel as a project that started a new era in tunneling.”
Eurasia Tunnel, record holder for awards
he Eurasia Tunnel, planned to be opened on December 20, 2016, has won many prestigious awards as well as being selected the world’s Best Tunnel Project. The project was awarded the 2015 Best Environmental and Social Work Award by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the most successful projects in terms of sustainability. In addition, it has won the “ITA Major Project of the Year” award in the Large Projects category in the ITA International Tunneling Awards, organized for the first time in 2015 by the International Union of Tunnels and Underground Structures. At the same time, the financing package created for the Eurasia Tunnel was awarded with four different international awards.
About the Eurasia Tunnel
As of today, Eurasia Tunnel is now 92 percent complete. With the Eurasia Tunnel, which will be opened for service on 20 December 2016, the travel time on the route of Kazlicesme-Goztepe where traffic is very intense in Istanbul will be reduced from 100 minutes to 15 minutes.
A short, safe and comfortable journey between two continents
- Eurasia Tunnel, with its advanced technology, provides safe and comfortable travel between the two continents.
- Features such as modern lighting, high-capacity ventilation, and low-leaning trajectory enhance ride comfort.
- Eurasia Tunnel, built as two floors, provides one-way passage from 2 lanes on each floor.
- It also provides uninterrupted travel even in adverse weather conditions such as fog and icing.
- It will be a key connection completing the Istanbul highway network and fastest mode of transport to existing airports in Istanbul.
- Decrease in traffic density will reduce exhaust emission rates.
- It will provide a significant reduction in traffic density in the east side of the historic peninsula.
- There will be a considerable relief in the vehicle transit in Bosphorus, Galata and Unkapani bridges.
- It does not hurt the silhouette of Istanbul in terms of its structure.
- Eurasia Tunnel’s Asian entry is in Harem and European entry is in Catladikapi.
- The tunnel is open 24/7.
- Only minibuses and cars are allowed to use the tunnel.
- Vehicles can make payments with OGS and HGS systems. There are no additional charges for passengers in vehicles.
- Emergency phones every 100 meters, public announcement system, radio announcement and GSM infrastructure provide continuous communication during the journey and the information flow is not interrupted in case of emergencies.
- First Responder Teams with all sorts of equipment and training that work at the tunnel entrances and inside the tunnel 24/7, are able to intervene in any incident inside the tunnel within minutes.
- Eurasia Tunnel is designed to withstand an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude. The system built under the Bosphorus will continue to be undamaged and continue to be in service in the event of the biggest earthquake that will occur every 500 years in Istanbul. It is constructed so that the tunnel will be opened to service with minor maintenance in the event of an earthquake that is likely to occur once every 2,500 years.
An exemplary engineering success in every way
Eurasia Tunnel consists of three main sections of 14.6 kilometers in total. The most important phase of the project is the Bosphorus Transit, which is 3.4 km long. The world’s most advanced TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) technology was used for the Bosphorus Transition. TBM moved 8-10 meters per day, and completed a work of 3 thousand 344 meters and 16 months in August 2015. In the tunnel consisting of a total of 1674 bracelets, a seismic bracelet was installed at two points to increase the resistance against a possible big earthquake. Seismic bracelets that were specially designed and produced after being tested and proven in the laboratory, became the ‘first’ application in the world in the ‘TBM Tunneling’ sector, in terms of the current diameter and seismic activity level. In addition, high-performance precast concrete rings used in the production of the bracelets in the tunnel were produced at Yapi Merkezi Prefabrication Plants, aiming a service life of 100 years. The analyses and simulations made by the international certification agency reported that the life of the segments were at least 127 years. Within the scope of the project, the arrangements are continuing on the tunnel approach roads in Asia and Europe. While the existing 6-lane roads are being upgraded to 8-lanes, improvements such as U-turns, intersection and pedestrian crossings are being made.
Approximately 2 million cubic meters were excavated in the project, 700 thousand cubic meters of concrete, 70 thousand tons of iron were used. In other words, the excavations to fill 788 Olympic pools were done, and enough concrete to build 18 stadiums, and enough iron to build 10 Eiffel towers were used in the project.
The project also provides economic contributions during the operating process
- With the commissioning of the project, a total of 38 million liters of fuel will be saved per year.
- Thanks to the extra capacity provided during the passage of the Bosphorus, shortening of travel times will save approximately 52 million hours of time per year.
- Thanks to the project, the amount of emission of vehicles (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, etc.) will be reduced by approximately 82 thousand tons per year, thus contributing to the environment.