The World’s Largest Steel Suspension Bridge is Almost Here

For centuries, those who wanted to make the trek between Europe and Asia would often find themselves traversing through Istanbul, the narrow region that connects larger Turkey with Bulgaria. Istanbul is a major transport hub that is about to get even busier with the advent of the world’s largest suspension bridge set for unveiling in 2023.

The Canakkale 1915 Bridge will be made out of steel and cover the Dardanelles strait, a massive body of water that separates Europe from Asia. It’s the Centrepoint of Turkey’s Vision 2023 program, designed to expand the infrastructure of the countries road, rail and sea networks. This gargantuan bridge will span 2,023 metres (get it?), making it the largest of its kind in the world.

Other big bridges

The Canakkale 1915 Bridge may be the biggest bridge of its type, but it has some close competition. Japan’s Akashi Kaikyō bridge is just 32 metres shorter 1991 metres, and Wuhan’s Yangsigang Yangtze River Bridge measures 1,700 metres. China has many of the world’s ten longest bridges, including the 1,490 metre Runyang Bridge in Yangzhou and the 1,688 metre eastern span of the Nansha Bridge in Dongguan.

In case you’re wondering what the biggest suspension bridge in Australia is, it’s Brisbane’s Walter Taylor bridge, measuring 300 metres.

How Canakkle 1915 will work

Overall, the bridge will utilise over 128,000 tonnes of steel in its construction, based on a reinforced concrete deck. The bridge structure underneath the road surface is affixed by two shear-connected longitudinal steel box beams. Steel crossbeams, each sitting on external cantilevers, connect everything together.

It’s not just long, it’s also one of the tallest bridges the world has seen so far. The steel platforms that sit just above sea level carry towers that reach a whopping 318 metres into the air, making this the fourth highest bridge on Earth.

Once it’s complete, the bridge will replace a 30 minute ferry ride with a 10-minute vehicle trip, offering massive savings to transport companies. It’s estimated that the six lane bridge, measuring 45 metres wide to include space for vehicles and multiple maintenance walkways, will handle both commercial and private road users.

With over three billion dollars being sunk into the project, the backers are expecting massive benefits to arise from its construction and use. The Canakkle 1915 Bridge will transform the way people and businesses work throughout Turkey and have far-reaching ramifications around Europe and Asia. Not only that, but it promises to be another one of Turkey’s many tourist attractions.

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