Bosphorus Bridge will not be down closed, minister reveals

Bosphorus Bridge will not be down closed, minister reveals

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Bosphorus Bridge will not be down closed, minister reveals

Some experts claim the annual Eurasia marathon may be harming the already-exhausted Bosphorus Bridge. AA photo

The Bosphorus Bridge is set to undergo nine months of maintenance in preparation for its 40th anniversary but will remain open to traffic, said Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım yesterday, ending days-long controversy on the issue. 

“Shutting down the bridge is unthinkable. We are planning it so that it has the least amount of effect on the residents of Istanbul. There is nothing to worry about,” Yıldırım said at a breakfast with architects and engineers in Ankara yesterday.

Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge is set to undergo heavy maintenance work that is due once every 40 years, a Turkish daily reported Jan. 20, while also saying the steel cables that connect the suspension bridge to two giant pillars also need to be entirely replaced.

The news drew strong reactions from construction engineers and city planners, who said such renovations should be made continuously through regular inspections. 

Yıldırım said traffic will be restricted during the maintenance period, estimating that the repairs and updates will take up to eight or nine months to complete. A starting date has yet to be set, he told reporters.

Similar to cars, bridges need to be tuned up periodically, said Yıldırım, adding that a more detailed maintenance effort would take place due to the bridge’s upcoming anniversary.

The bridge, connecting Europe and Asia, was completed Oct. 30, 1973, and cost $200 million to construct. It is hailed as the first modern bridge connecting the two continents since the pontoon bridge of Xerxes in 480 B.C.