On 13.05.2012 the groundbreaking ceremony took place for the 14.7 km-long Ovit tunnel linking İkizdere, Rize province with Ispir, Erzurum province in Turkey. Contract duration is 4.5 years. The current pass over the mountains closes during winter due to risk of avalanches and heavy snow.
The tunnel will reduce travel time between Rize and Erzurum from 5h to 2 h, and the highway will be shortened by 30 km.
Tunnel portal elevations are 1,919 m and 2,236 m, and TBMs will be used. Total investment is EUR270 million. 40/12.