Towers of Çanakkale Bridge set to rise soon
A big step has been taken in the construction of the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge over the Dardanelles Strait after a 65,000-ton caisson was placed on the seabed near the European shore.
The placement of the caisson, which will serve as the waterproof foundation of one of the 318-meter high towers, was completed in the late hours of May 9, vice chair of the consortium firm ÇOK, Başar Arıoğlu, told daily Hürriyet on May 13.
“The depth is 37 meters near the European side, while it is 45 meters near the Asian side. The width of the caisson placed on the European side is 40 meters, while the one set to be placed on the Asian side will have a width of 48 meters,” he said.
The huge caisson was supposed to be floated to a point that it would be submerged on May 6, however it was postponed to the next day due to bad weather conditions. When it arrived to the exact targeted point in the early hours of May 8, its small tanks started to be filled with water for the submersion, a task which was carried out very slowly in order to be precise in locating the caisson.
Finally, it was fixed to the seabed, leaving the steel platforms to which the tower will be mounted above the sea level.
Longest suspension bridge
The two towers of the bridge will be erected soon after the second caisson is located near the Asian shore.
“The 1915 Çanakkale will be the world’s longest suspension bridge with a main span of 2,023 meters,” said Ebru Özdemir, chair of Limak Holding and ÇOK, which was established by the consortium partners Limak and Yapı Merkezi from Turkey along with South Korean firms SK E&C and Daelim.
“It will start serving on March 18, 2021,” she added, referring to the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli between Turkish soldiers and the Allied Forces during World War One.
The length of the bridge’s main span also is a reference to the year of 2023, when the centennial of the Republic of Turkey will be marked.
The consortium founding the ÇOK won the tender and a 192-month lease for the historic bridge in 2017.
Some 70 percent of the bank loan of 2.3 billion euros for the bridge construction was provided by foreign banks, Özdemir said.
“The bridge and the highway will provide significant contribution to the economic mobilization of the Aegean, West Mediterranean, South Marmara and the Central Anatolia [regions of Turkey],” she added.