Underground tunnel in Istanbul’s Taksim Square set to open on Friday13 Eylül 2013
The underground tunnel in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, as part of the controversial pedestrianization project of the area, is set to open on Sept. 13, nearly 11 months after construction had begun.
The tunnel will reroute traffic underground, linking the often congested Tarlabaşı and Cumhuriyet Avenues.
The construction was first halted after archeological structures, which were thought to be historical water outlets, were revealed.
The construction area is also adjacent to Gezi Park where protests had erupted in late May spread across the country.
Protesters who were opposed to the municipality’s redevelopment project of the park, which will involve cutting down trees within the vicinity, also objected to the pedestrianization project, as experts argued that it would make it more difficult for pedestrians to reach the square.
The Istanbul Chamber of Urban Planners have also disapproved of the project, saying that its aim in fact was not to ease the traffic for pedestrians, but rather to give priority to vehicles by creating five tunnels, which would inconvenience pedestrians wanting to reach the square.
Underground bus and dolmuş stations have been set inside the tunnels providing public transport users access to the square.