New Istanbul Bridge connecting two continents opens
A third bridge spanning over the Bosphorus straight linking the European and Asian sides of Istanbul was opened on Friday with a ceremony.
The bridge was opened with participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım today. Besides Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Council İzetbegoviç and President of Pakistan Punjabi Province Muhammed Şerif, many world leaders also attended this magnificent opening ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mustafa Akıncı, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and senior officials from Pakistan, Georgia and Serbia, as well as numerous countries’ ministers of communication and economy.
The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, built above the northern Bosphorus straight,not too far from the Black Sea, was named after 16th century Ottoman Sultan Selim I, whose rule marked the expansion of the burgeoning world power in the Middle East.
According to Turkish officials, it is estimated that the “longest suspension bridge to have a railway system” in the world will save $1.75 billion annually in terms of cutting travel time and reducing energy costs.
The bridge is also expected to provide a solution to the city’s air pollution as well as traffic congestion, the officials claimed.
Turkey’s government has guaranteed operators that 135,000 automobiles will use the bridge each day. The fee for automobiles going from the European to the Asian side will be 9.90 Turkish liras ($3.40).
There will be no charge for passage from the Asian to the European side.
The bridge is 1.4 kilometers (0.9 mile) long, 59 meters wide and boasts eight road lanes as well as two rail lines.
It has been built as a part of the Northern Marmara Motorway Project, which has been planned in three phases. The first phase of the project has been completed by the private sector, which invested around $3 billion.
The other two phases will involve the construction of highways and link roads amounting to a total length of 257 km. These are expected to be completed and available for public use in 2018.
Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, which was completed only in 27 months, is also the widest bridge in the world.