The world’s fourth-longest highway tunnel stretching 14.3 kilometers was inaugurated in the eastern Black Sea province Rize, reports daily Sabah.
The Ovit tunnel is built at an altitude of 2640 meters above the level through the mountain chain of the same name.
between the north-south axis to a great extent.
“Ovit is not simply an infrastructure project, but is of great strategic importance due to its location on the Caucasian corridor that opens to Europe and Central Asia,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the inauguration ceremony. This tunnel was planned by the Ottoman rulers in the late 19th century.
The Ovit tunnel will greatly facilitate freight transport and expand the links between the region, neighbouring countries and major seaports.
The Turkish authorities pins great hopes for the Ovit tunnel. It will simplify the access of freight traffic to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line and to some extent will contribute to the process of revival of the historical Silk Road.
Simultaneously, in Black sea province of Trabzon, the construction of another tunnel through the mountain range of Zigana, which claims to be the longest in Europe, is underway. The New Zigana tunnel, which consists of two 14.5 km long lines, is designed to shorten the route between the eastern part of the Black sea regions of Turkey, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Iran. It will be completed by 2020.
Another tunnel, operating since 2016, “Eurasia” connects Europe with Asia underneath the Marmara seabed. This corridor was a practical solution to Istanbul’s heavy traffic congestion and reduced the travel time between the two parts of the city by six times to 15 minutes.
The study on the economic benefits of this underwater route said that during the first year of operation, the Eurasian Tunnel had provided TL 895 million thanks to a 323 million-hour saving and TL 286 million with 30,000 tons of fuel saved; a further TL 23 million was also saved thanks to the prevention of 18,000 tons of carbon emission.
The Turkish authorities intend to increase the total length of the tunnels in the country from current 433 to 700 kilometers by 2023.