World’s Longest Suspension Bridge Opens, Connecting Europe and Asia

World’s Longest Suspension Bridge Opens, Connecting Europe and Asia

The world’s longest suspension bridge, which spans the Dardanelles Strait and links Europe and Asia, has officially opened for business, and it is a marvel. President Erdogan of Turkey, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, and other officials officially opened the gigantic bridge that unites the two sides of Turkey — one in Europe and the other in Asia – and will eliminate the 1.5-hour boat voyage that would otherwise be required to pass. The 1915 Canakkale Bridge, which spans 2,023 meters (6,637 feet) between its two towers, is today the world’s biggest suspension bridge.

“Turkey has overcome Japan, which has the world’s longest bridge in terms of the midspan, and has taken first position,” President Erdogan remarked during the opening, according to the Associated Press. The bridge took over five years to complete and was built by both Turkish and South Korean enterprises to promote links between the two nations, costing $2.7 billion (£2.06 billion). Outside of Istanbul, it is presently Turkey’s sole motorway that connects Europe and Asia, and the travel takes only 6 minutes.

On the European side, the bridge links Gelibolu and Lapseki, while on the Asian side, it connects Gelibolu and Lapseki. The bridge’s name, 1915 Canakkale Bridge, refers to an Ottoman naval victory over British troops during World War I, when the British attempted to take control of the strait. The new 1915 Canakkale Bridge opened on Friday, after just under five years of construction, permanently connecting both sides of the Dardanelles Strait for the first time. The bridge was inaugurated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan, who was joined by South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, according to AP News.

With a primary span of 6,637 feet, the recently constructed crossing is currently the world’s longest suspension bridge. It is only 105 feet shorter than the previous record holder, Japan’s Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. According to Boo-kyum, the bridge was built by a collaboration of Turkish and South Korean enterprises, with the project helping to boost ties between the two nations. Whereas crossing the Dardanelles Strait by boat used to take roughly 90 minutes, the voyage may now be accomplished in just 6 minutes by crossing the bridge. 

It is part of the larger Knal-Tekirda-Anakkale-Balkesir Motorway, or O-6, and is Turkey’s first motorway link between Europe and Asia outside of Istanbul, which includes many bridges and tunnels connecting the two continents. The bridge cost €2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion USD) to construct. According to Erdoan, potential fuel savings from the more efficient crossing are predicted to reach €415 million euros, or $458 million per year.