Nearly 1 mln vehicles crossed newly-opened İzmit Bay Bridge during Eid holiday
DHA photoAn average of 95,000 vehicles per day crossed the newly-opened İzmit Bay Bridge, dubbed the Osman Gazi Bridge, over Turkey’s Marmara Sea, which aims to drastically cut travel time between Istanbul and the country’s western provinces, hitting around 1 million vehicles during the nine-day Eid al-Fitr holiday.
This figure was almost two times higher than the number of daily vehicle crossings guaranteed by the government to the bridge’s construction consortium. However, the full calculation will be made on an annual basis, as at least 14.6 million crossings need to be made yearly to ensure the Treasury will not have to make a payment to the consortium, and it has been wondered whether the required number of vehicles will cross the bridge when the bridge is ticketed.
The ostensibly quake-resistant bridge was formally inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on June 30. The bridge tolls were free of charge during the nine-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which ended July 11.
Officials said on July 11 that roughly 1 million vehicles had crossed the world’s fourth-longest suspension bridge during the holiday.
An average of 40,000 vehicle crossing per day was promised by the state to the consortium, which built the bridge on a public-private-partnership model, according to officials. The reference point will be a total of 14.6 million vehicles on an annual basis, they added.
Some controversy has however emerged about the toll for the bridge, a part of the Istanbul-İzmir highway project, as the fees were found high by many passengers, creating concern about how many vehicles would use the bridge in the future when the crossing would no longer be free-of-charge.
If less than 14.6 million vehicles cross the bridge in a year, the state will make up the difference in the toll fees and pay the total to the consortium.
Officials calculated the project would cut the journey time between the two cities to three-and-a-half hours, from the nearly nine hours on today’s roads, when the entire project is completed.