Photo: Eurasia Tunnel

Company: Italferr

Category: Engineering & PMC

Country: Turkey

Commissioned by: AYGM (Ministry of Infrastructure of Turkey)

Geographic area: Middle East and North Africa

Year: 2016 (activity still in progress)

The project

The Istanbul Strait Road Tube Crossing Project, also known as the Eurasia Tunnel, was created to increase road connections between the Asian side and the European part of Istanbul and alleviate traffic problems. The work, which involves crossing the Bosphorus through a 5.4 km long submarine tunnel, was inaugurated in December 2016, eight months before the contractually agreed time.

The Italo-Turkish joint venture Italferr Spa and Altinok CE LLC won the tender issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure of Turkey (AYGM) to complete supervisory activities during the development stages of the detailed design, execution, testing, and commissioning of the whole project.

The supervision contract was signed in May 2014 and the activities started in August 2014. In December 2016, the Verbal of Provisional Acceptance was signed, which kicked off the opening of the Eurasia Tunnel to vehicular traffic. At the same time, the period of Defects and Liability, a period of one year, began, during which the work was monitored in order to highlight any anomalies in the Tunnel's structures, management, and control systems. Once this last phase was successfully concluded, on 27 February 2018 Italferr Altınok Joint Venture, in tandem with AYGM (Ministry of Infrastructure of Turkey) and ATAŞ, signed the Final Acceptance report of the Eurasia Tunnel, which actually closed the construction phase of the work.

Since January 2018, the Commission entrusted Italferr Altınok Joint Venture with support activities for monitoring the work of ATAS during the Eurasia Tunnel Operation Period, in order to verify the volume of monthly vehicular traffic. These support activities will end in January 2021.

The expected benefits are:

  • reduction of vehicle load on existing bridges;
  • significant reduction of traffic pollution and CO2 emissions;
  • drastic reduction in travel time between the two continents, bringing them, with reference to the peak traffic, from over 100 minutes to just 15 minutes;
  • faster connection between Atatürk airport and the D100 motorway to Ankara;
  • improvement of existing roads in the historical area of the city.

Know how

The realization of the Eurasia Tunnel Project represents an unprecedented intervention accompanied by a worldwide resounding success.

In this project, particularly critical environmental conditions were overcome due to the large excavation diameter (13.71 m), the seismicity the area, the high water pressures (11 bar), and the heterogeneity of the land faced.

Thanks to the experience gained in Italy during the construction of many underground works, Italferr has contributed to the realization of the Eurasia Tunnel with its knowledge of the executive and constructive phases, receiving great appreciation from the Turkish client.

Italferr personnel immediately had to manage and coordinate Turkish resources exclusively, with a different language, culture, and working techniques. The leadership, integration, and teamwork managerial skills put in place have ensured that all the resources collaborated together to achieve the same objective.

Cultural integration has thus become a strong point for the Italferr Altinok Joint Venture, as well as one of the keys to success and completion of the project.