1915 Çanakkale Bridge: The world’s longest suspension bridge

1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey
1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge recently opened in Turkey, becoming the longest suspension bridge in the world. It spreads 4.6 km (2.8 mi) over the Dardanelles Strait. With its largest span of 2 km (1.2 mi), it provides a faster and more efficient transportation route between the European and Asian parts of Turkey. The bridge is a tribute to the country’s history, as well as a symbol of modernization and economic growth in Turkey. Many Turks have taken pride in its construction. Whether you enjoy big infrastructure projects or beautiful views opening from the bridge, the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge should definitely be added to your list.

Where is the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge located?

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is located in the province of Çanakkale in northwestern Turkey. It spans the Dardanelles Strait, connecting the towns of Lapseki and Gelibolu. The Dardanelles Strait connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It divides Turkey’s European and Asian sides and is just as significant to world trade as the Bosporus. The strait is approximately 60 kilometers (38 mi) long and its width goes from 1.2 to 6 kilometers (0.7 to 3.7 mi).

The completion of the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is expected to benefit locals. Indeed, prior to the construction of the bridge, they had to rely on ferries to cross the strait. Additionally, the bridge will provide a new and more efficient route for goods transport between Europe and Asia.

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General information :

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is a massive feat of engineering that spans 4.6 km (2.8 mi) and features two pillars. The span between the pillars is 2,023 m (6,637 ft), making it the longest span in the world. The pillars reach a remarkable height of 334 meters (1,096 ft), that structure could compete in the top 10 of Europe’s highest skyscrapers.

This six lane-bridge is part of a new 321 kilometers long (199 mi) Kınalı-Balıkesir Motorway and is expected to carry up to 45,000 vehicles each day. This new bridge, which is the fourth to connect Europe and Asia, offers a much-needed relief to the Istanbul region’s three existing bridges (along with one tunnel), which are often congested.

The construction of the bridge cost €2.5 billion. However, it is expected to save up to €415 million euros each year in fuel consumption, according to Turkish authorities. The construction was carried out by Turkish and South Korean companies and more than 5,000 workers were involved. The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is a toll road. Indeed, crossing the bridge will cost 200 Turkish Lira.

Why is it called the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge ?

The Çanakkale 1915 Bridge is officially named in honor of an important Ottoman naval victory that took place in 1915 during World War I. During this battle, the Ottoman Empire defeated the navies of the United Kingdom and France. The number “1915” in the name of the bridge is a symbolic reference to this historic event.

Additionally, other symbolic figures associated with the bridge such as the height of the intersection point of the main cable (318 m) and the opening date (18th March) also correspond to the date of the Ottoman naval victory. Furthermore, the length of the bridge’s main span (2,023 meters) commemorates 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic.

When did the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge open ?

Initially, the Turkish government requested for the work be completed by October 2023. However, the bridge opened earlier on March 18th 2022 on the 107th anniversary of the Çanakkale Victory.

Historically, proposals for a bridge crossing the Dardanelles Strait have existed for a few decades, but the bridge project was officially launched by the Turkish government in September 2016. The contract was awarded to a consortium of Turkish and South Korean companies in 2017. Construction began in March 2017.

How long does it take to cross the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge?

Prior to the construction of the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge, vehicles traveling between Anatolia and the Gallipoli Peninsula had to rely on a one-hour ferry ride across the Çanakkale Strait. This frequently resulted in long waits and travel times of up to five hours. However, since the bridge’s completion, the travel time has been significantly reduced to just six minutes.

Views of the Dardanelles Strait with the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge
Views of the Dardanelles Strait with the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge

How to get to 1915 Çanakkale Bridge ?

The bridge is accessible by road from both the European and Asian sides.

To reach the European side entrance, you can take the O-3 European motorway and follow the signs for Çanakkale. Once you reach Çanakkale, follow the signs for the bridge.

To reach the Asian side entrance, you can take the O-5 motorway. Coming from the south, follow O-5 to Aliağa. Take exit K14 from O-5 and follow the signs to Çanakkale. Coming from the east, take the exit toward Karacabey and follow the D200 road.

If you are interested in other record-breaking bridges, check our article about the Viaduc de Millau, one of the highest bridges in the world.

You can have a preview of the itinerary on the map below :

Is the bridge 1915 Çanakkale Bridge open?

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is open all year round and is not subject to seasonal road closures. However, different restrictions are in place depending on how strong the wind is. For example, if the wind exceeds 126 km/h, the traffic has to close for all vehicles. You can check all restrictions on the official website.

Preview of the road :

Get ready for a breathtaking drive on the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world. If you are curious to see what the journey looks like, check out this YouTube video:

In conclusion, the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is a marvel of modern engineering, connecting Europe and Asia over the Çanakkale Strait. As the world’s longest suspension bridge, it not only provides a faster and more efficient route for transportation, but it is also a symbol of national pride for Turkey. The bridge’s name and design pay homage to important historical events and figures, making it a unique landmark for visitors and locals alike. If you are planning a trip to Turkey, a visit to the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge should definitely be on your itinerary!

Credits: By Zafer – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116588484 / By Sharon Hahn Darlin – The Dardanelles Bridge / 1915 Çanakkale Bridge / 1915 Çanakkale Köprüsü, Dardanelles strait, south of the Sea of Marmara, Turkey, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=116662564

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