Four consortia in $2.6 bln Dardanelles bridge bid

Four consortia in $2.6 bln Dardanelles bridge bid

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Four consortia in $2.6 bln Dardanelles bridge bid Turkey’s highways authority has received bids from four international consortiums to build, operate, and maintain a new 10 billion-Turkish Lira ($2.61 billion) suspension bridge over the Dardanelles Strait, the authority said Jan. 26.

The construction of the Çanakkale 1915 bridge, spanning over 2,000 meters between Lapseki and Gelibolu in the northwestern province of Çanakkale, is set to start by March 18 and open in 2023 when the country marks the centennial of the Republic of Turkey, according to the country’s Transport Ministry.  
“Whoever gives the shortest time for the construction will win the bid,” said Sefer Tirman, the head of the General Highways Directorate (KGM) and chairman of the bid committee.        

Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said the durations that included the operation phase of the build-operate-transfer model project stood between 16 to 18 years. 

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said in October 2016 that Asian and Turkish contractors had shown interest in the project and added that the construction of the bridge was expected to start on March 18, the anniversary of one of the Ottoman Empire’s final victories. 

Yıldırım said it would take around five years to complete. 

Turkey marks what it calls the Çanakkale War – known in English as the Battle of Gallipoli – on March 18, when Ottoman forces repelled an Allied World War I assault on the Dardanelles. 

A total of four mega-projects are currently under construction across the country.  Istanbul’s third airport, the Gebze-Halkalı commuter train link in Istanbul, the Ovit tunnel in northeastern Anatolia, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway. Last year, Turkey opened a third bridge over the Bosphorus Strait, the Yavuz Sultan Bridge, named for a 16th-century sultan known for his expansion of the Ottoman Empire; in addition to the world’s fourth-longest suspension bridge over İzmit  Bay, the Osman Gazi Bridge; and the Eurasia Tunnel, which is an underground road tunnel linking Istanbul’s European and Asian sides.

Some bidders ‘might lobby to shorten the lenth'

Some companies among the bidders for a 2,023 meter-long bridge, in a reference to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic, to link the two sides of the Dardanelles Strait in Turkey might offer a shorter one to cut costs if they win the tender, Hürriyet columnist Vahap Munyar reported on Jan. 26.

The shortest route to connect the two sides of the strait is around 1,600 to 1,700 meters, which would still make one of the longest of its kind in the world. 

“Might one of these companies make a 2,023-meter offer to win the tender and then lobby to make a shorter bridge?” Munyar wrote. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have set ambitious infrastructure goals for 2023.

The following are the four consortiums bidding for the build-operate-transfer (BOT) project:  
1. Daelim (South Korea) - Limak - SK (South Korea) - Yapi Merkezi OGG (Turkey)  
2. IHI (Japan) - Itochu (Japan) - Join (Japan) – Makyol (Turkey) – Nurol (Turkey) - Japon Express Way (Japan) OGG      

3. Cengiz (Turkey) - Kolin (Turkey) - CRBC (China) OGG    
4. IC Içtaş (Turkey) - Astaldi (Italia) OGG