Turkey set to start building huge Canakkale 1915 bridge

President, prime minister expected to attend groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday

Satuk Buğra Kutlugün   | 17.03.2017
Turkey set to start building huge Canakkale 1915 bridge


By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun


Turkey’s president and prime minister are expected to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for an enormous bridge project in Canakkale province on Saturday.

The Canakkale 1915 bridge -- named in memory of the country’s historic victory in the region during WWI -- will span over 2,000 meters between Lapseki and Gelibolu (Gallipoli) in northwestern Turkey. 

It is expected to open in 2023 when the country marks the centennial of the Republic of Turkey. 

The 1915 battle took place in the Canakkale (Dardanelles) Strait in Gallipoli peninsula. 

The groundbreaking ceremony to start the project will be attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, during the ceremonies to mark the 102nd anniversary the Ottoman victory over invading Allied powers in WWI.

The bridge is expected to be built at a cost of around 10.35 billion Turkish liras ($2.80 billion).

It will be 32 meters longer than the world’s longest bridge -- the Akashi-Kaikyo bridge between Kobe and Awaji Island in Japan.

On Jan. 26, a consortium of South Korean companies -- Daelim, SK E&C and Limak -- and Turkey’s Yapi Merkezi OGG won a tender and a 192-month lease for the historic bridge in Canakkale, which is a gateway to the Gallipoli battlefields, north of the narrow strait.

The consortium outbid rivals from Japan’s IHI, China’s CRBC and Turkey’s Cengiz and Kolin.

The crossing will be built about 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of the country's economic heart Istanbul. 

Mega projects

Turkey has been working to build giant infrastructure projects across the country to boost economic growth, including Istanbul’s third airport which will have a capacity of up to 200 million passengers a year.

In 2015, Turkey raised the bar with the financial closure of seven projects totaling a record $44.7 billion, according to the World Bank Group.

A total of four mega projects are currently under construction: Istanbul’s third airport; the Gebze-Halkali commuter train link in Istanbul; the Ovit tunnel in northeastern Anatolia; and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway.

Last year Turkey opened a third bridge over the Bosphorus Strait (the Yavuz Sultan Bridge, named for a 16th century sultan known for his expansion of the Ottoman Empire), plus the world’s fourth-longest suspension bridge over Izmit Bay (the Osman Gazi Bridge), plus the Eurasia Tunnel, which is an underground road link spanning Istanbul’s European and Asian sides.

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