The construction of Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the third bridge over the Bosporus, being built to ease Istanbul's traffic, is continuing at full speed. According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency (AA), the concrete towers on both sides have risen around 304.5 meters and the disassembly work of temporary scaffolds continues. The bridge, which will unite the two sides of the Bosporus, is expected to become operational in the first half of 2016.
While the walkways around the concrete bridge deck slabs continue, there are 40 standard steel bridge deck slabs, 19 on the European and 19 on the Asian side plus two transition segments. The remaining 19 steel bridge deck slabs are currently being manufactured in Tuzla and Altınova and 969 meters of the middle bridge deck slab, which will connect the two sides with a main span of 408 meters, has been completed with 439 meters left.
While the concrete for the anchorage block has been completed, the assembly of the main cable continues. The tower saddle and distribution saddles has been constructed and the assemblies are complete. Catwalks and cable bands have been manufactured and delivered to the construction site.
Soon the production of the suspension cables will commence and the assembly of the upper connection beam panels of the towers will continue under leading foremen Ferhat Demirbilek and Serkan Ödemiş.
Demirbilek, foreman of steel construction assemblies from Osmaniye, is working on the mega project in a 300-meter high steel basket. Demirbilek said he likes exciting jobs and has sandpapered the giant steel constructions placed on the concrete tower on the European side so that welding can proceed easily. Explaining that being involved in such a giant project is very exciting for him, Demirbilek said they are building the future of Turkey and currently constructing the two 300-meter-high steel constructions connecting the two towers.
Workers from South Korea and Turkey have now become friends and Ödemiş, who acts as a translator, said because they lived in Korea for nine years, he and other workers try to provide knowledge about South Korea to Turkish workers.
Teddy Hwang, the resident engineer of the contractor firm, Hyundai, said in Turkish that he is enjoying his time working on the bridge and he wants to get married and stay in Turkey.
Hwang said that currently at the construction site there are 200 Turkish and 400 South Korean workers and they have built good friendships. He further said that while wind sometimes might cause problems, especially during the construction of the bases of the towers, it currently has no adverse affect on progress. "We are building the best and widest suspension bridge in the world," Hwang said.