President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan inaugurated the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge, the necklace of the Çanakkale Strait, and Malkara-Çanakkale Highway today on the 107th anniversary of the Çanakkale Victory, at a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister of South Korea Kim Boo-kyum.
Dedicating the bridge to the glorious memories of martyrs and ancestors' magnificent victory 107 years ago, President Erdoğan said, “We see 1915 Çanakkale Bridge as a ruby necklace over the Çanakkale Strait. Today, we have put our promise of building a bridge from the past to the future both in word and in spirit."
Linking Europe and Asia, the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is the longest mid-span suspension bridge in the world and is an alternative route to the Bosphorus by completing a 324 km-long motorway project linking the districts and cities of Kınalı, Tekirdağ, Çanakkale, and Savaştepe. It also feeds into an 88 km-long motorway and 13 km-long access roads stretching between the districts of Malkara (Tekirdağ) and Lapseki (Çanakkale). The 4,608-meters-long bridge includes a 2,023 meter long mid-span, 770 meters of side spans, and two approach viaducts, one 365 and the other 680 meters longs.
The project came into being through various BOT schemes, alongside finance agreements that were signed on March 16, 2018, with 25 financial institutions from hailing from ten different countries. This secured a 15-year term loan worth EUR 2.265 billion – with a grace period of five years. Seventy percent of that was supplied by 19 foreign banks and financial institutions, while the remaining 30 percent came from various Turkish banks.
The bridge is expected to do wonders for foreign trade, especially for logistics companies, as it will cut delivery time and costs in at least half. Passengers using the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge will now be able to cross the Dardanelles in just six minutes. The bridge will also bring a boost to both domestic and international tourism.
Beyond the bridge itself various other elements were built as part of the project including; 2 approach viaducts, 4 viaducts, 55 bridges and overpasses (including 1 ecological overpass), 40 underpasses, 238 culverts of various sizes, 12 junctions (including those on the state road), 4 motorway service areas, 2 operation and maintenance centers, and 7 toll plazas.