Turkey has set specific targets to be achieved by the 2023 centennial of the Republic. These targets include becoming one of the top 10 economies in the world, increasing exports revenues and upgrading the country’s infrastructure investments through energy, transportation and healthcare projects in particular. The expansion of Turkey’s infrastructure is transforming Turkey and playing a key role in its economic dynamism.
The government of Turkey in its 10th National Development Plan, has identified PPPs as a critical financing mechanism to address the vast need of infrastructure investments. An ambitious master plan, which includes metro line extensions, a 3rd airport in Istanbul, the Eurasia Tunnel, the Izmit Bay Bridge (Osmangazi Bridge), and the 3rd Bosphorus Bridge (Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge), bodes well for growth.
The latest masterpiece, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, links the European and Asian sides of Istanbul and was opened on August 26 in a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, Presidential Council Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akıncı, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, and many other local and foreign top officials. Having an investment amount of USD 3 billion and completed in 27 months, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge lays claim to several features that set it apart from other bridges in the world. The bridge is the longest dual-purpose (8 lanes of motorway and two lanes of rail) suspension bridge in the world at a length of 1.4 kilometers. It also boasts the widest span of any suspension bridge in the world at 59 meters in width, as well as the tallest tower at a height of 322 meters.
The bridge is the centerpiece of the first phase of the Northern Marmara Motorway Project, which has two more phases comprising highways and link roads together totaling 257 kilometers that will be completed in 2018. Because the bridge will reduce travel times and therefore fuel consumption, it is estimated that the project will save its users a total of USD 1.75 billion per year.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during the opening ceremony that all mega projects remain on schedule, including Eurasia Tunnel and 3rd airport in Istanbul. He also noted that the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is a leading example globally with its many unique features.