Minister of Transportation Yıldırım announced that the roadmap for the Canal İstanbul project will be put to tender until the end of 2013. Yıldırım explained that project also includes a bridge, connecting highways and the development of surrounding neighborhoods. Prime Minister Erdoğan announced the Canal İstanbul project in 2011. Many have called it crazy. The project has received heavy criticism from environmentalists, claiming that it will disturb the groundwater and water balance of the region.