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Kanal Istanbul route to be specified soon, minister says

Kanal Istanbul route to be specified soon, minister says

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 6th International Railway and Light Rail Systems, Infrastructure and Logistics Fair in Istanbul about the planned route of Kanal Istanbul, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım said: “We are currently working on five routes for Kanal Istanbul. In the next few months, all the planning work will be completed, and we will announce the final route of the channel.”

He also spoke about the planned high-speed train projects. “We have work on 80 high-speed train tenders in progress. The investment is estimated to reach $5 billion to $6 billion. These 80 tenders can hopefully be conducted in mid-2016,” Yıldırım said.

The canal was originally planned to only cross through the districts of Küçükçekmece, Başakşehir and Arnavutköy in Istanbul. The polluted Küçükçekmece Lake will be added to the canal, while the Sazlıdere Dam has been excluded from the scope of the project. Moreover, the shape of Kanal Istanbul will be V-shaped, while the width of the lower part will be 100 meters. The distance between the two sides of the canal could reach up to 520 meters across with a depth of 25 meters.

Forested areas, rivers and riverbeds will be preserved, and open-air areas will include biodiversity reserves, open-air facilities, recreational areas, small-scale food production operations and green areas consisting of various trees and flora. Archaeological parks will also be built, and a zoo will be constructed close to the forested area as a part of the open-air network.

The city to be built around the canal will have a unique identity and will be built gradually, starting from villa-type buildings to six-floor housing projects. Upon the instruction of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, buildings in the area will be limited to a maximum of six floors, and taller buildings will be constructed away from the canal. The canal will be built to allow the passage of large vessels. A zoning plan will be issued after the completion of the new urban design plan according to updated population figures.

With the completion of Kanal Istanbul, two peninsulas and one island will be formed. Moreover, the project aims at putting an end to heavy Bosporus shipping traffic. Approximately 150 to 160 vessels will pass through the canal on a daily basis. The project aims to offer easy access to all business centers, industrial areas and workplaces with its multiple-model approach. Bridges will support commercial and residential areas, and maximize various public transportation routes.