Eurasia tunnel opens in Turkey

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Eurasia tunnel opens in Turkey

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey and Choi Kwang-chul, CEO of SK E&C joined a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of a Eurasia tunnel, which connects Asia and Europe undersea, on Tuesday in Istanbul. The 1.24 billion dollar project was handled by SK E&C in cooperation with Turkish company Yapi Merkezi. [SK ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION]

SK Engineering & Construction said its megasize underground tunnel that connects Europe to Asia in Turkey has opened for traffic.

The 14.6-kilometer (9 mile) link including the two-story, 5.4 kilometer tunnel built under the seabed of the Bosphorus Strait, has been completed after 48 months of construction, SK Group’s construction arm said Wednesday. The company held an opening ceremony in Istanbul on Tuesday.

“The Eurasia Tunnel will give economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits to the citizens of Istanbul by offering them a quality traffic service,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, at the ceremony.

“The tunnel is expected to relieve the notorious traffic of Istanbul, a popular city for tourists,” SK E&C said in a statement.

“The tunnel enables cars to pass through the Bosphorus Strait in roughly 15 minutes, greatly reduced from the original 100 minutes, and is expected to be used by over 120,000 cars on a daily basis.”

The convenience is also expected to boost the economies of nearby marketplaces, ultimately bringing an economic boost to the whole city, SK E&C projected.

The Turkey Eurasia Tunnel Project was executed by SK Group affiliates, including SK E&C and Turkish company Yapi Merkezi. While the $1.24 billion project was initially scheduled for completion by April 2017 after breaking ground in January 2013, construction was finished about three months ahead of schedule.

Even after completion of the tunnel, SK E&C will earn operating revenue, as it will maintain and manage the tunnel until 2041.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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