Plans for Besparmak mountain tunnel re-emerge

Public Transportation and Works Minister, Ahmet Kasif has made reference to plans to build a road tunnel through the Besparmak (Five Finger) mountain range, Kibris Postasi reported last week.

The idea originally was included in a signed accord between Turkey and the TRNC in June 2011 as part of Turkey’s plan to fund construction of 875 km of first class highway in the TRNC between 2010-2020.

At that time, Turkish Transportation Minister, Mehmet Soluk and his TRNC counterpart Ersan Saner signed a cooperation protocol in June 2011 to transport materials and machinery to the TRNC.

Soluk said that once the Girne – Lefkosa by-pass, had been built, if that project was successful, a study would be made to assess the feasibility of a mountain road tunnel to be the next major construction project.

There had been plans to turn the Girne – Degirmenlik road into a dual carriageway with a crawler lane for heavy vehicles but this idea has been rejected because of concerns about how this might impact the environment. However, Kasif said that the economic viability and environmental impact of the tunnel had to be assessed. He also noted that there were more pressing projects to be completed for example the Girne – Nicosia dual carriageway and the continuation of the dual carriageway to Catalkoy which is planned for 2014.

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