Çanakkale 1915 Bridge to create 4,000 jobs

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 07.04.2017 21:19

Limak Holding Chairman Nihat Özdemir announced that the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge, which is set to be the longest suspension bridge in the world when completed, would provide jobs to approximately 4,000 people.

Özdemir pointed out that they won the bid for the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge with the build-operate-transfer model together with two Turkish and two South Korean companies. He noted that about 4,000 people would construct the bridge.

The chairman also recalled that the foundation of the bridge was laid with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Martyrs Memorial Day and the 102nd anniversary of the Dardanelles Naval Victory on March 18, 2017. Furthermore, Özdemir stressed that their South Korean partners and government officials attached great importance to the project.

Pointing to the importance of the bridge in terms of the economy and tourism, Özdemir noted that it was an important project because it will connect Asia and Europe for the sixth time by completing a ring around the Sea of Marmara. The two continents are currently connected by three bridges over the Bosporus Strait and five underwater tunnels, which include one railway and one highway. He added that tourists and imported material coming from Europe will be able to easily reach Anatolia and western Anatolia without going through Istanbul using the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge. Özdemir also noted that western Anatolia is an important export center for Turkey in terms of both vegetable and industrial production and that goods produced in this region can be exported to Europe much quicker once the bridge is completed.

Stressing that the Turkish and South Korean partnership will build the world's longest suspension bridge with a central span of 2023 meters, Özdemir said that it would hopefully be completed by the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the republic. "This will be an important investment of TL 10.5 billion ($2.82 billion). It will help employment, boost the region and be one of Turkey's most important projects," Özdemir said. He also highlighted that as the Turkish economy grows, the number of vehicles passing over this bridge will increase.

"We mostly use Antalya and our south coasts. We have not used our west coasts and Çanakkale's surroundings. Due to this bridge, more tourism investments will be made here and more people will come," Özdemir said, underlining that the bridge will also positively contribute to tourism investments in the west.

Turkey's highway authority received bids from four international consortiums to build, operate and maintain a new TL 10 billion suspension bridge over the Dardanelles Strait, the authority announced previously. A Turkish and South Korean consortium, including Turkish companies Limak and Yapı Merkezi and Korean companies Daelim and SK, committed to the shortest term - five-and-a-half years to build and almost 11 years to operate after construction. The consortium's bid was TL 10.3 billion for the project. Turkey has been working to build mega infrastructure projects across the country to boost economic growth, including the Istanbul New Airport, the city's third airport, which will have a capacity of up to 200 million passengers annually.

In 2015, Turkey raised the bar with seven completed projects that totaled a record $44.7 billion, according to the World Bank Group. Four mega projects are currently under construction: Istanbul's third airport, the Gebze-Halkalı commuter train link in Istanbul, the Ovit Tunnel in northeastern Anatolia and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway. Last year, Turkey opened a third bridge over the Bosporus Strait, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, named after a 16th-century sultan who was known for expanding the Ottoman Empire, and the world's fourth-longest suspension bridge over the Bay of İzmit, the Osman Gazi Bridge, and the Eurasia Tunnel, an underground tunnel featuring a roadway linking Istanbul's European and Asian sides.

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