A ceremony was held in Turkey today to celebrate the completion of the Izmit Bay Bridge, the world’s fourth-longest suspension bridge and part of the route of the Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir Motorway. An initial section of 40 kilometres of motorway was opened, along the route that stretches from Gebze to Orhangazi.
The first phase of the initiative under concession for the development and subsequent operation of the Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir Motorway has thus entered operation. Astaldi has been carrying out this important project that will halve the current travel times – today exceeding 8 hours – between the city of Gebze, near Istanbul, and Izmir on the Aegean coast.
As a whole, the project calls for building more than 400 kilometres of motorway, with 43 kilometres of motorway junctions, 33 viaducts, and 2 viaducts connecting to the suspension bridge (for a total of 39 kilometres and 1.4 million square metres of structures), 3 double-tube tunnels, 17 service and parking areas, 187 bridges, 973 minor hydraulic works, 26 intersections, 20 motorway tollbooths, 6 maintenance centres, and 17 service areas.
This is a major new success for the Astaldi Group, which has claimed third place worldwide among international Contractors active in bridge building. The inauguration also follows the recent completion, again in Turkey, of the Third Bosphorus Bridge, another example of high engineering: the world’s largest suspension bridge, its towers even higher than the Eiffel Tower.
Since the 1980s, Astaldi has been a presence in Turkey, where in addition to the Third Bosphorus Bridge, it has also constructed a significant section of the Anatolian Motorway (116 kilometres between Gumusova and Gerede), the Istanbul underground (26 kilometres with 16 stations, inaugurated in August 2012), Milas-Bodrum International Airport (constructed in just 15 months and operated through October 2015), and Istanbul’s Haliç Bridge. At present, the Group is engaged in completing under concession the Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir Motorway, more than 140 kilometres of the Northern Marmara Highway, and the Etlik integrated health campus in Ankara, one of the largest healthcare complexes under construction in Europe.