Turkish Transportation, Maritime and Communications Ministry organized a press conference on January 15 to announce details of the Canal Istanbul Project.
The Canal Istanbul Project is an artificial sea-level waterway parallel to the Bosphorus that is to connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The new waterway, which would bypass the current Bosphorus, aims to minimize shipping traffic in the Istanbul Strait.
Transportation, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said the length of the artificial sea route would total 45 kilometers (28 miles). The route would start from Küçükçekmece Lake, which is located between the Istanbul's districts of Esenyurt and Avcilar on the European side and continue to the north passing Istanbul's Sazlidere Dam and reach the Black Sea from the east of Terkos Dam, located in the Durusu village of Istanbul's Catalca district.
The canal is to boast a capacity of 160 vessels a day and is scheduled to be completed by 2023.
Arslan didn’t tell exact cost of the project, but added it will be much higher than other projects. "Right now, our country's biggest project is the Istanbul New Airport with a cost of around €10.5 billion ($12.8 billion), but, Canal Istanbul will be higher in value," Arslan added.
He said Turkey aims to finish all tender processes and ground breaking in 2018.