The world’s longest-spanning suspension bridge officially opened in Turkey on Friday (18 March).
The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge has a central span of 2,023m, which means it usurps the title of world’s longest suspension bridge from the Akashi Kaikyo crossing in Kobe, Japan.
According to President Erdogan, the Çanakkale cost €2.5bn to construct, but will generate €5.3bn in economic output, create 118,000 jobs and generate €2.4bn in revenue.
The bridge, which is named after an Ottoman naval victory during the First World War, is the first over the Dardanelles Strait, and the sixth crossing between European and Asian Turkey, alongside three other bridges and two tunnels.
It is located 10km south of the Sea of Marmara, and its six lanes will be part of a 321km, $2.8bn project to connect motorways in Thrace and Anatolia.
The main design work was carried out by Cowi of Denmark and Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants of Korea, and this was verified by Arup of the UK and Aas-Jakobsen of Norway, with input from Turkey’s Tekfen and T-Ingénierie of Switzerland.
The construction itself was carried out under a public–private partnership model by a group of Turkish and South Korean companies, led by Daelim, SK, Limak and Yapi Merkezi and including China’s Sichuan Road and Bridge Construction Group.
Limak Group chairwoman Ebru Özdemir said: “Speaking on behalf of Limak, I feel incredibly proud of this engineering achievement. Not only will the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge make travelling and commuting much easier, it will also act as a symbol of the unity between East and West for future generations.”
Cowi project director Inger Birgitte Kroon said: “The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge has been a fantastic project to work with. Not just for all the technical challenges that we as engineers love but also for the strong collaboration with DLSY, the owner and other involved parties.
“Only with a collaborative mindset from all parties has it been possible to design and construct a world record suspension bridge in less than five years.”
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