1915 Çanakkale Bridge: Turkiye opens world’s longest suspension bridge

Turkiye’s latest engineering feat, the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge, has entered the record books as the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world.

With a span measuring two-kilometres (1.25 mile), or 2,023 metres, between its two distinctive red towers, the suspension bridge is 32 metres longer than the former record holder, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan.

At 4,608 metres (15,118 feet), the new Çanakkale structure is some 650 metres longer in total length than the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge too.

The Turkish suspension bridge’s height at 318 metres also makes it the tallest of its kind, adding to the many records it now holds.

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge was formally opened to the public on 18 March in a ceremony officiated by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of the Turkish Republic.

The date commemorates the Turks’ famous victory against the naval fleet of the Allied Forces (Britain, and France) at Çanakkale, Gallipoli in English, in 1915 after they invaded the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

The new 1915 Çanakkale Bridge sits near to where the historic battle took place, straddling the Asian and European shores of the Dardanelles Strait. This key waterway in Turkiye’s north western province of Çanakkale connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara.

Costing around £2.1 billion to build, the bridge stretches from Gelibolu on the European side to the town of Lapseki on the Asian side.

For travellers, a trip across the Dardanelles will now take just six minutes compared to the previous 90 minutes by ferry, which would often extend to five-six hours due to ferry waiting times and adverse weather conditions.

There is a toll of 200 Turkish Lira ($14) to use the new bridge, which is expected to carry 45,000 vehicles a day across its six lanes, giving a transportation boost to both tourism and commercial activity in the region.

The design of the bridge is by COWI, with multiple companies involved in its construction including Daelim, Limak, SK and Yapı Merkezi.