Europe and Asia meet again with third bridge over the Bosporus
AA PhotoThe last section of the third bridge over the Bosporus was installed on March 6, bringing together Europe and Asia with a highway and a railway.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, along with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım and other ministers and officials attended a ceremony held for the occasion.
At the ceremony, President Erdoğan criticized environmentalists who opposed the project due to concerns it would destroy the city’s northern forests.
“Projects like this can only be realized by those who think big,” Erdoğan said. “They said, ‘It cannot be done,’ they even came here to protest, and here we are,” he said at the ceremony held on the bridge.
Transport Minister Yıldırım praised the project.
“Today is a historic day,” Yıldırım said. “This is the widest suspension bridge of the world that has a railway, and no other bridge in the world has been completed in less than three years,” he added, noting that unlike the first two bridges over the Bosporus, the main contractor for the third bridge was a Turkish company.
The bridge will be ready to open along with its connecting roads by the end of August, said Yıldırım.
Prime Minister Davutoğlu thanked President Erdoğan and all ministers who contributed to the project, as well as the workers and engineers who built the bridge.
“This is not only a bridge that brings together Europe and Asia,” said Davutoğlu.
“It is a bridge that will bring together hearts, too, since many engineers and workers behind this project want to have their weddings on this bridge.”
Bonus to workers
Following the official ceremony, President Erdoğan met with workers accompanied by İbrahim Çeçen, chairman of the main contractor IC Holding.
After a lengthy negotiation with Çeçen, Erdoğan convinced him to pay 3,000 Turkish Liras of bonus money to every worker who took part in the bridge construction.
An estimated total of over 6,000 workers will have contributed to the bridge construction.
The 116-km long highway, which is built as part of the third Bridge and Northern Marmara Highway Project, include 35 viaducts. Some 25 of these viaducts have already been completed and ready for transportation, according to company representatives.
The bridge, which is about 1.4 kilometers in length and 59 meters in width, will have eight road lanes as well as two rail tracks.
All trucks and heavy-duty vehicles will also be directed to the bridge when it is opened. Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport and the third airport, which is currently under construction, will also be connected to each other via a planned railway system, which will also pass over the bridge and be integrated with the Marmaray and Istanbul metro system.