World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking to a crowd in the coastal province of Trabzon before the ceremony, Yildirim said the twin Zigana tunnels will be "the number one road tunnel" upon construction, each measuring 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) long.
"You will have no trouble going up to Mount Zigana with two tunnels and you will reach Gumushane [province] in 40 minutes," the premier said.
The original Zigana Tunnel, constructed in the 1970s, is a 1.7-km road tunnel on the state highway connecting Trabzon’s Macka town and Torul in Gumushane to the south.
It is located southwest of the provinces’ border.
The new tunnels are scheduled to be completed in late 2019.
The project aims to decrease the driving distance between the provinces from 100 km to 90 km, and eliminate bends and ramps challenging for drivers in the wintertime.
After the ceremony, Yildirim headed to Gumushane to hold a rally on the upcoming constitutional referendum that will take place April 16.