Six design consortia were shortlisted to bid on 11 December for the design and preparation of tender documents for an estimated $1,470 million project to build a rail tube crossing of the Bosporus in Istanbul together with urban light rail transport (LRT) networks. Client for the build-operate- transfer (BOT) project is the railways, ports and airports construction department (DLH) within the Transport & Communications Ministry.

The six consortia of local and foreign firms were:

Yuksel Proje with the US’ Louis Berger International and France’s De Consult

Yapi Merkezi with the US’ Parsons Brinckerhoff International

Tekfen Muhendislik with Canada’s Delcan Corporation

Eser Muhendislik with Belgium’s Tractebel and Germany’s Transurb

Botek with the US’ De Leuw Cather International

Erkas with Germany’s ETC

The project comprises:

a $670 million submerged tube crossing of the Bosporus. This will be the third crossing of the waterway after the first and second bridges;

adding an additional track to the existing double-track railway between Haydarpasa and Gebze in Europe, over a length of

44 kilometres, and the same to the Sirkeci-Halkali line in Asia, over 27 kilometres. Costing around $800 million, these additional tracks will form a light rail transit (LRT) system connecting both to the rail tube, and also through a common station to the metro under construction for the city.

A rail tube crossing of the Bosporus has long been mooted, last in a tender call by Istanbul municipality earlier in 1995. However, the government has directed the municipality to cancel its project, and an associated LRT scheme between Gebze and Harem, because of duplication.