Groundbreaking ceremony for bridge over Dardanelles to take place on March 18
The groundbreaking ceremony for the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is slated to take place on March 18, the 102nd anniversary of the Çanakkale War.
Turkey marks what it calls the Çanakkale War – known in English as the Battle of Gallipoli – every year on March 18, when Ottoman forces repelled an Allied World War I assault on the Dardanelles in 1915.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım are expected to attend the ceremony.
A consortium, made up of South Korea’s Daelim and SK and Turkey’s Limak and Yapı Merkezi, won the tender for the construction on Jan. 26 by offering the shortest construction time.
The bridge is expected to be built at a cost of around 10.35 billion Turkish Liras ($2.8 billion).
The Çanakkale 1915 bridge will span over 2,000 meters between Lapseki and Gelibolu (Gallipoli) in northwestern Turkey.
The bridge is expected to be 32 meters longer than the world’s longest bridge - the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge between Kobe and Awaji islands in Japan, as reported by state-run Anadolu Agency on March 17.
The crossing will be built about 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of the country’s financial heart Istanbul.
The bridge is expected to open in 2023 when the country marks the centennial of the Turkish Republic
The contract for the bridge was signed in an official ceremony on March 16 with the attendance of Transport Minister Kang Hoin and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Arslan.
“The Çanakkale 1915 Bridge can facilitate the country’s transportation. This project would enable Turkey to show its geopolitical position, natural beauty and cultural richness to foreigners,” Kang said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
Kang said finance and technology were vital points to continue such mega projects, adding he believed there would be future cooperation between Turkish and Korean firms.
Detailing the opportunities in the region, Kang said, “Turkey is a key country for both the Middle East and Central Asia, wherein Turkey has good relations with other countries.”
Arslan said the bridge would be the peak of Turkish-Korean relations, which already have a partnership based in the Eurasia Tunnel and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge projects.
“We are conducting a crucial project - a world record holder - in a significant place. We are undertaking a significant project that will recall the spirit of our ancestors in Çanakkale, which is the symbol of the fight for independence,” Arslan added.