Turkey opened a massive suspension bridge across Dardanelles Strait on Friday which cuts travel time between Europe and Asia to six minutes.
The President of Turkey inaugurated a massive suspension bridge Friday over the Dardanelles Strait that connects the European and Asian shores of the key waterway.
With a 6,637-foot span — 1¼ miles — between its towers, the 1915 Canakkale Bridge becomes the world’s longest suspension bridge, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
It connects the town of Gelibolu, located on the European side of Turkey’s northwestern province of Canakkale, with the town of Lapseki on the Asian side. The bridge allows travelers to cross the Dardanelles — which connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara — in just six minutes, compared to the previous 1½ hours by ferry which including waiting time amounted to as much as five hours, the president said.
“Turkey has overtaken Japan, which has the longest bridge in the world in terms of the midspan, and has taken the first place,” Erdogan said during the inauguration ceremony.
The inauguration was timed to coincide with the 107th anniversary of Turkey’s World War I naval victory over a joint British and French fleet attacking the Dardanelles.
The bridge, which was built by a consortium of Turkish and South Korean companies, will also strengthen the bonds between Turkey and South Korea, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said during the ceremony.
The “1915 Canakkale Bridge” cost $2.7 billion to build, but Turkey will save $458 million per year from a reduction of fuel consumption and carbon emissions, Erdogan said. He said the bridge’s toll will be 200 Turkish lira, about $13.50.
The bridge’s architecture is awash with symbolism. It’s central span of 2,023 meters (6,637 feet) is in recognition of the year 2023, when Turkey celebrates the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Erdogan said. The height of the bridge’s towers is 318 meters (1,043 feet) — a nod to March 18, when Turkey commemorates the soldiers killed during the Gallipoli sea and land battles.
From LA Times | Photos: Getty Images
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