Speaking to reporters last Saturday following his investigation, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced that the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will open on Aug. 26 with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in attendance along with many other state and government leaders from different countries.
Yıldırım arrived at the Anatolian pier of the bridge via the North Marmara Highway and moved towards the middle with his company where Transportation, Maritime and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan and Director General of the Highways İsmail Kartal informed him about the bridge. Later, Yıldırım got into his car and drove across the rest of the bridge.
Noting that the bridge was a magnificent work of art, Yıldırım said: "It is not just a bridge. It has eight lanes of motorway and two lanes of railway in the middle. Consisting of 10 lanes in total, it is the longest spanning suspension bridge in the world. It is also the highest suspension bridge in the world, with the world's highest tower at a height of 322 meters." Pointing out that its design was different than that of the 15 July Martyrs' Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Yıldırım said the project is a hybrid with both vertical and horizontal wiring and the towers are not vertical but make the shape of an "A" consisting of two piers connecting in the middle. "Therefore, the bridge has many firsts and features. It is not just a transportation tool, but it also has an identity, a spirit. It is a project with engineering value," Yıldırım said.
Recalling that the bridge has a 217-kilometer-long highway along with the main and access roads following the bridge, Yıldırım said: "It is sometimes called the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and access road. It is better to call it the Northern Highway. Istanbul's Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge is connected to the TEM highway, while the July 15 Martyrs' Bridge is connected to E-5. The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, on the other hand, constitutes Istanbul's outmost highway by going across the northernmost part of the Bosporus." He added that a vehicle entering from Kınalı on the European Side could arrive after passing Sultanbeyli Kurtköy on the Anatolian Side and later continue on to Bursa and İzmir or İzmit via the Osman Gazi Bridge.