Turkey's economic and population expansion and its strategic location are fueling a massive construction drive. The most attention grabbing and perhaps most far-fetched project under consideration is the Canal Istanbul. The canal project would be intended to relieve pressure on the heavily congested Bosporus, through which about 136 vessels and 27 tankers pass every day. The Canal Istanbul would be a 30-mile long, man-made waterway that would slice through the already heavily populated European side of Istanbul and connect the Black and Mediterranean seas. Turkish leaders since the Ottoman era have raised this idea of linking the two seas, but economic, political and technical constraints always end up stifling the plans. The government claims the canal would cost $10 billion and be operational by 2023, but this is not realistic for a project of this magnitude.