As an extension of the Kanal Istanbul project, 3 artificial islands are to be built in the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea with much of the foundation materials coming from the land excavated as part of the canal construction process.
Whilst the size of the islands is not yet known, it is estimated that some 2.7 billion cubic metres of excavated land will be moved in order to create this ‘mini’ or ‘second’ Bosphorus.
Ahmet Arslan, Transportation, Maritime and Communication Minister, has previously announced that the tender process for the canal project will start as soon as the actual route (of the canal) has been finalised.
The primary purpose of the canal is to reduce the traffic load on the Bosphorus, currently around 55.000 ships and vessels every year – it is planned that the new canal will serve mainly oil tankers. Much of the operational costs of the canal will be generated from income derived from commercial enterprises located on the islands – additionally, the authorities have stated that there will be residential zones on each of the islands.
It is estimated that the canal will be 43 kilometres in length with a surface width of up to 400 metres and a maximum depth of around 30 metres – 6 bridges will also be constructed at intermediate points along the canal.
Not all excavated earth will be suitable foundation material for the islands so it will be subjected to enhancement based on its chemical values. Seismic movements and sea depth will also have to be considered before the actual location of the islands can be determined.