“1st National Congress on Tunnelling and Underground Space” was held in Congresium, Ankara

With the “National Congress on Tunnelling and Underground Space” it organized for the first time, Turkish Road Association brought together the national and international project implementers (designers, contractors, consultants) and other relevant stakeholders of the sector in order to share recent developments, innovations and practices in tunnel design and construction techniques.

Participating in the Opening Ceremony, Özkan POYRAZ, Undersecretary of Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications began his speech by saying; “Our goal as the Ministry is to establish a transportation system with access to logistics centers and connected with international transport corridors through a reachable and accessible transportation system. We have to make plans according to the results of a transportation system with reduced economic and transportation costs. Above all, reducing the traffic accidents that cost human life and carbon dioxide emissions by improving the physical conditions of our roads has the priority among our goals.”

Continuing his speech POYRAZ said “To make reachability and accessibility possible by reducing transport costs in transportation, and to develop a transportation system compatible with the international corridors and logistics centers, tunnels and bridges naturally become indispensable. Tunnels and bridges are among the most important projects of our Ministry in the recent years. In the last decade, Turkey has become a very important know-how and implementation area for tunnel and bridge engineering. Not only our highway engineers but also universities, consulting firms, engineering firms and everyone else working in projects and applications have greatly benefited from these projects. I believe these projects have made significant contributions to Turkey’s universities and engineering backbone of our highways, and that through these congresses, information will be transferred to the future. I also believe that the most important part of this congress is the exchange of information. However, I would like to remind the participants to not to approach this by just building tunnels or bridges but to pursue the economic efficiency principle of engineering. Because of the limitations of our resources in building tunnels and bridges, I think there is also a need for economic efficiency analysis such as “Which port do we arrive at the end of this highway, Can we see the highway as and tunnel as elements of a combined transportation.”

İsmail KARTAL, Director General of Highways and Chairman of the Turkish Road Association started his speech in the Opening Ceremony by saying “From past to present tunnels have been used widely in the infrastructure system and with the developing technology and construction methods, especially in terms of raising the geometric standards of the roads, have become indispensable artistic structures. There has been a great progress in tunnel construction with the development of technology in our country. With a 442 % increase from 50 km, the total tunnel length has reached 270,8 km. Using current tunnel technologies, 250 m of highway tunnels are constructed every day, and by 2023 we aim to have a total 470 tunnels with 700 km length open to service in our road network.”

Stating that construction works of many projects are continuing today and from the progress that was made until now it is understood that the need for information, science, innovation and sharing for future projects will continue to increase, KARTAL said that they believe and support these events such as congresses, seminars, fairs etc. that are undertaken and lead by the Turkish Road Association will become the basis of the shares that will form the core of investments. Continuing his speech, KARTAL stated that “In addition, this year as the Association we wanted to arrange a real Business Fair covering the full process of a project from beginning to end. In this fair we are organizing for the first time, both Turkish and foreign companies put their trust in us and contributed to the enrichment of the fair by participating in it.”

KARTAL completed his speech by saying “I would like to convey my thanks to my colleagues who will share their experiences with us, to academics who will transfer their valuable knowledge to us, to private sector members who will describe the knowledge they have acquired in the sector, their difficulties and methods to overcome them, to companies who will present their products and services by opening their booths in the Fair and finally to you esteemed participants who support us in organizing this Congress and Fair.”

Joining the Opening Ceremony, one of the directors of International Road Federation, Brendan HALLEMAN and International Tunneling and Underground Space Association Board Member Prof. Dr. Davorin KOLIC also made speeches.

In the Congress that was held in Congresium Ankara in 7 sessions between May 26-27, 2016 Prof. Dr. Mahir VARDAR (E-ITU) from Turkey and Prof. Dr. Davorin KOLIC (ITA) and Dr. Johann BRANDL (GEOCONSULT) took part in various sessions as invited speakers.

The 81 reports that were submitted to our Association to be presented in the Congress were evaluated by the Scientific Committee Members. In accordance with the opinion of the Committee Members and to the extent time allowed, 21 of these reports were included in the Congress program and presented by their writers. The Congress Proceedings flash disks that hold 74 reports together with ones that were presented were distributes to the participants during registration.

Also, concerning the Eurasia Tunnel Project, Ceren ALACA BAYINDIR (ATAŞ), concerning the Marmaray Tunnel Project, Selami IŞIK (YÜKSEL PROJE), concerning the Blue Tunnel Project Dr. Ayhan KOÇBAY (DSİ), concerning the Ovit Tunnel Project, Assoc. Prof. Nurdan APAYDIN (GDH), and concerning the History Preserving Subway Construction Techniques – Genoese Walls Crossing Project Ülkü Ebru YILDIRIM (İBB) made presentations. In addition, the Turkish Road Association ITA Young Members representative Volkan ÜZELER made a presentation about “ITA TURKEY – Young Members”.

To bring together the national and international project implementers (designers, contractors, consultants), and other relevant stakeholders of the sector who are new machinery, material, equipment manufacturer and suppliers, and to become the facilitator in exchange of information, Turkish Road Association organized the Roads, Bridges and Tunnels Fair again in Congresium Ankara in May 26-27, 2016.

Fair was opened to the participants and the visitors after the opening speech of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Undersecretary Özkan POYRAZ. In his speech this time POYRAZ said he wished for success to all the participants with the belief that this Fair will be a successful communication opportunity for participating companies.

After the opening, guests made observations in the booths located in the exhibition area.

In the fair with 150 Turkish and foreign companies participating, company executives who opened booths stated that they found the fair multi-purposeful and noteworthy, and conveyed their sincere feelings to our Association stated that they want to see this fair to be organized again in the coming years.