Turkey is moving forward with plans to build what would become the world’s longest suspension bridge, to be built by a consortium of South Korean and Turkish companies in the city of Canakkale.
The Canakkale 1915 Bridge is set to be built over the next five-and-a-half years, and will have the longest main span of any suspension bridge in the world, at just over 2 kilometers, surpassing the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, in Japan, by about 32 meters. The bridge on the whole will be 3.6 kilometers (2.23 miles) long.
Turkish officials held a ceremonial signing in Ankara Thursday (March 16) with representatives of the consortium of contractors selected for the job: South Korea’s SK E&C, Daelim and Limak, and Turkey’s Yapi Merkezi OGG.
$2.8 Billion Project
The bridge is expected to cost about $2.8 billion to build, the Turkish government says, and will connect Canakkale with the national park area commemorating the WWI fighting at Gallipoli, where 500,000 soldiers lost their lives. The bridge, across the Dardanelles, will be about 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Istanbul.
The Canakkale 1915 was designed by Tekfen Holding after that firm was awarded the design contract in 2012. Its design takes into account seismic stability, as Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes, being situated on the North Anatolian Fault.
The goal is to finish the bridge before 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Turkey.
The bridge is reportedly being built via the build-operate-transfer model, in which private companies are contracted to build a structure and operate it for a set period of time, using profits from tolls or other revenues to recoup costs incurred in building and maintaining the structure. Turkish officials said 12 financial institutions have stepped in to help finance the bridge. The contract will reportedly involve the transfer of the bridge back to the government in 16 to 18 years.
The South Korean firms on the contract said that while Turkish contractors are not yet capable of taking on such a huge project alone, they expect by the end of this project that infrastructure projects of this size will be within grasp for Turkish companies.
"I believe that after this Canakkale 1915 Bridge [is] completed, our Turkish partners will be able to build such projects by themselves,” Daelim executive Yoon Tae Seob said, according to Daily Sabah. We want to collaborate in know-how transfer to support Turkish companies.”
Osman Gazi to Be Surpassed
Just last summer, Turkey’s longest suspension bridge, the Osman Gazi Bridge, opened over the Marmara Sea, southeast of Istanbul. That bridge, built at a reported cost of $1.3 billion, stretches about 2.6 kilometers overall and is the world’s fourth-longest suspension bridge by main span, at 1.5 kilometers.