Municipality approves access road plans for third Istanbul bridge
Fatma Aksu – ISTANBUL
Cihan PhotoThe Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) has approved new plans for the access roads to Istanbul’s third bridge after an Istanbul court had revoked an amendment for the construction plans on June 11.
The İBB council on July 15 approved the Environment and Urbanization Ministry’s plan for the access roads despite the objections from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) members in the council.
On June 11, an Istanbul court revoked an amendment for the construction plans of the access roads, which are being built in the northern part of the city.
On April 27, the Istanbul 8th Administrative Court canceled the ongoing road construction on the Bosphorus on the ground that the İBB had the authority to make plans for area according to the Bosphorus Law.
Upon the court’s decision, the İBB council gathered to discuss the plans of the road construction on the Bosporus.
The CHP members in the municipality council called on the council members from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to vote against the construction plans on the ground it would damage the nature and fabric of the Bosphorus. The CHP members also said there had not been any changes made to the plans prepared by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry. The plans, however, were approved by the İBB council late July 15.
The third Bosphorus Bridge - controversially named after 16th century Ottoman Sultan Selim I, known in English as Selim the Grim - and its connecting highways are expected to cost Turkey around $3 billion. The construction began in 2013 and both of the bridge’s towers have already been completed. As of May, the Asian tower had reached 318 meters high, while the European one had risen to 322 meters.
The government has been criticized for its decisions for urgent expropriation of the green areas affected by the construction of Istanbul’s third bridge, as the areas are mostly covered with forests and water basins.