Last section of mammoth İzmit Bay Bridge mounted
AA photoThe last section of the mammoth İzmit Bay Bridge, a key part of the Gebze-Orhangazi-İzmir Highway Project which will shorten the travel time between Istanbul and the Aegean city of İzmir dramatically, was mounted in an official ceremony on April 21.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu attended the ceremony and mounted the last section of the bridge.
President Erdoğan announced the name of the bridge as Osman Gazi, the founder and first sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
The bridge is expected to be opened in the next two months and will shorten the time to travel to the other side of İzmit Bay drastically. As a part of the Istanbul-İzmir Highway Project, the İzmit Bay Bridge will be the fourth largest in the world by the length of its central span.
The existing route between Gebze, a district in the western province of Kocaeli bordering Istanbul, and İzmir is 540 km long and currently takes eight to ten hours to travel. The new motorway is expected to reduce the average journey time between the two cities to three to four hours, while relieving the traffic load on the existing route by more than 30 percent. The 421-km road project involves 30 viaducts.
The motorway project is being built through a public private partnership (PPP) and is the first road project in Turkey to be procured under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. The project’s cost is around $6.3 billion and it has created around 8,000 jobs, according to the latest data.