TODAY’S – Istanbul’s future undersea highway to charge cars $4 plus tax

Istanbul’s future undersea highway to charge cars $4 plus taxMotor vehicles driving on Turkeyand#39s first transcontinental underwater highway — expected to begin services at the end of 2016 — will have to pay $4 (TL 88), excluding value added tax (VAT), Turkish Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lutfi Elvan said on Tuesday.The underwater segment of the Eurasia Tunnel project (Avrasya), which aims to link the European and Asian sides of Istanbul with a mostly undersea roadway, is approximately 35 percent complete, and Elvan visited the construction site on Tuesday to share the latest details.

Elvan said the government has guaranteed the construction company to see 68,500 cars pass the undersea tunnel per day. The minister said the government estimated 25 million vehicles will pass on Avrasya per annum The Eurasia Tunnel was tendered in accordance with the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.

A Turkish-Korean partnership — YapI Merkezi from Turkey and SK EC, Kukdong, Samwhan Corp. and Hanshin from South Korea — was the winner of the tender and named their joint company ATAI.

ATAI will oversee the project and manage the tunnel for the next 24 years, before handing it over to the ministry. The tunnel aims to link the European quarter of KazlIeIme with the Asian side hub of Gztepe, reducing the travel distance for cars between the two areas to 15 minutes from around 90 minutes.

Construction on the project continues 24 hours a day with approximately 1,300 people employed on site.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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