1. Various of the Marmaray tunnel construction site on the Bosphorus strait
2. Pan of interior of tunnel under construction
3. Mid of interior of tunnel under construction
4. Mid of terminal information sign
5. Various of tunnel under construction
6. Mid of workers walking in tunnel
28 October 2013
7. Mid of cars on congested highway
8. Mid of traffic, shot from inside car
9. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Murat Tekin, Taxi driver:
"Everyone knows that traffic in Istanbul is congested. When those who don't live here come to Istanbul, they say, 'it really is that busy'. Going from one place to another takes a very long time, even between short distances."
10. Travelling shot from inside taxi crossing from Asian to European side of Istanbul on the Bosphorus bridge
11. Wide of Bosphorus bridge
12. Mid of passenger boat arriving at harbour
13. Various of passengers disembarking
14. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Ozlem Ulus Karatekin, Istanbul resident:
"I think it's certain that it will have a positive effect. I think it will help resolve the traffic problem. It's particularly great that we'll have an alternative to taking the bridges. But I do have a concern. Istanbul residents will be experiencing an underwater transportation system for the first time. How safe is this exactly? Officials need to give us more information. Personally, I am worried about it. "
15. Wide of ticket offices
16. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Vedat Sengul, Istanbul resident:
"It will affect people's lives in a positive way in terms of transportation, but they (officials) aren't thinking about other aspects. They aren't thinking about highway travel. They keep launching urban renewal projects, keep building buildings, but the roads remain the same. One of these days traffic will come to a complete standstill and we'll be stuck. On weekends you can't get from one side to the other over the bridges. When buildings are being built, roads must also be built."
FILE - 19 August 2009
17. Various of construction of tunnel at surface level, Bosphorus strait in background
A highly-ambitious construction project is promising to deliver some respite to hundreds of thousands of commuters in Istanbul - a metropolis of some 17 (m) million people, infamous for its bumper-to-bumper traffic.
The Marmaray tunnel is being touted as the first trans-continental tunnel, linking Istanbul's European side to its Asian one by cutting across the Bosphorus Strait.
Right now the only way to cross is by using one of two vehicular bridges, or by waterway.
The tunnel will connect to Istanbul's underground commuter trains and locals hope it will help ease congestion on the roads.
"Everyone knows that traffic in Istanbul is congested," said Murat Tekin, a taxi driver who spends an estimated five hours stuck in traffic every work day.
"Going from one place to another takes a very long time, even between short distances."
The tunnel, known as Marmaray, is 13.6 kilometres (about 8.5 miles) in length and will transport over one (m) million commuters per day between continents in four minutes, according to its website.
Istanbul resident Ozlem Ulus Karatekin is optimistic about the tunnel's affect on congestion.
"I think it's certain that it (the Marmaray tunnel) will have a positive effect. I think it will help resolve the traffic problem," she said.
However, she is concerned about the safety of an underwater transportation system - the world's first undersea tunnel connecting two continents.
"How safe is this exactly? Officials need to give us more information. Personally, I am worried about it," she said.