Turkey announced here on Friday its plans to build a giant undersea three-floor tunnel that will pass through the Bosphorus Strait of Istanbul.
"Istanbul is a city which shapes history and deserves the best, including mega-projects" Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, while presenting the new project in an event organized by the Ministry of Transportation.
The new tunnel will be built between the two bridges of the Bosphorus Strait, the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridges that connect the continents of Asia and Europe.
The tunnel will consist of two highways and a railway and will be the first of its kind in the world, Davutoglu announced.
The project will be finished before 2020 and will be accomplished with a model of build-operate-transfer. The tunnel is expected to cost 3.5 billion US dollars.
The 6.5 kilometers long tunnel will be integrated with the three airports, the bridges and the entire axis that connect all.
Davutoglu said that the tunnel will be environmental friendly and will reduce greenhouse gases by 115,000 tons per year.
"The life in Istanbul will change with this mega project and the backbone of the transportation in the city will be established," Davutoglu said.
Marmaray tunnel, the first undersea railway that connects the Far East and Europe with uninterrupted railway transportation, has been inaugurated in 2013.
The construction of its Avrasya tunnel that will connect Asia and Europe through an undersea highway, the third bridge over the Bosphorus Strait and Istanbul's third airport have still been continuing.