Bridge over Dardanelles Strait included in development plan
İdris Emen ISTANBULThe first concrete step for the construction of a bridge over the Dardanelles Strait has been taken, as the project has been included in a development plan that was prepared for the Çanakkale and Balıkesir provinces.
The Environment and Urban Planning Ministry has renewed the 1/100,000 development plan, revealing that the bridge is planned to be built between Lapseki district’s Kocaeli village on the Anatolian side and Gelibolu’s Sütlüce village in Thrace.
The estimated length of the bridge is 3,700 meters, including the roads that are also set to be built to link the main road between Istanbul and İzmir to the bridge.
Lapseki and Gelibolu, where the footing of the bridge will be built, have been declared as urban development areas, implying the sites will be opened to construction. The population is estimated to be 4,578,000 by 2040 in Çanakkale and Balıkesir, while today’s population is 1,654,000. Experts say the region cannot handle such a population growth.
Hakan Karademir, head of the Bursa City Planners Chamber, said ecological problems will emerge, as it would affect a vast area with other construction projects proposed in the plans.
“When a bridge is built in our country, the surrounding area is immediately opened to construction. The situation is the same for the Dardanelles Strait Bridge. The 1/100,000 plan proposes the areas where the bridge is projected to be opened to construction. Our calculations show the bridge will be 3,700-meters-long. Such a long bridge will cause serious ecological problems,” he said.
The new plans include the Aegean islands of Gökçeada and Bozcaada, with many areas assigned as urban development sites or tourism sites. The new regulation paves the way to the destruction of natural sites through constructing hostels and other touristic facilities.
Some areas in Balıkesir and Çanakkale have also been designated industrial sites, including a 4800-hectare area in Bandırma.