Shows the entrance of the newly opened tunnel, which runs under the Suez Canal, in Ismailia city east of Cairo (Photo: AFP)
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi is set to inaugurate on Sunday major projects which will connect Sinai to Nile Delta; a step which comes under the country’s pursued Sinai Peninsula development project.
In press statements carried out by Ahram Daily, Presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said El-Sisi will inaugurate four tunnels in Ismailia and Port Said, and a number of floating bridges, which seek to ease crossing from and to Sinai.
The tunnel projects, executed under the Suez Canal, is the biggest in the history of Egypt, and worldwide, in terms of lengths and diameters, the workload, and the record time for execution.
He added that the tunnels will connect Sinai with areas nationwide, meeting also discuseed development plans in the peninsula and facilitating transport and trade movement as it reduces crossing time between both sides of the canal to ten minutes instead of the previous overcrowding on ferries.
Crossing between Sinai and the Nile Valley was only limited to Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, and the Peace Bridge in Ismailia, as well as ferries, which Rady said did not accommodate the size of growing transport and trade from and to Sinai.
Each tunnel will accommodate the crossing of 50,000 cars daily, he said, stressing that they will achieve giant economic revenues.
Sunday’s eyed inauguration of the mega tunnels comes less than two years after the Egyptian President inaugurated similar projects, including tunnels and two floating bridges to facilitate commercial and civilian access to Sinai and the East Suez Canal Development Zone.
The East Suez Canal development project, which is part of the larger Suez Canal development plans, was launched in 2015. The project aims to develop major residential and industrial centres in the central Suez Canal governorate of Ismailia.
Egypt has also embarked on a mammoth Sinai Peninsula development plan, which is set to be completed by 2022 at a cost of EGP 275 billion Egyptian pounds (approx. $16 billion), as part of efforts to fight off terrorism in the northern part of the peninsula.