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Bridges of Istanbul

One of the most significant attributes of Istanbul is its placement between two continents with a strait separating the two parts, so its quite normal that the city should have many bridges linking between its two sides. The bridges of Istanbul are more than just a mean of transportation and access from one continent to another, these days the bridges represent an attraction in their own representing a symbol of the charm and beauty of Istanbul.

Here are the bridges over the Bosphorus strait…

♦ Bosphorus Bridge:

The Bosphorus Bridge known officially as the 15 July Martyrs Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Bosphorus strait (Turkish: Boğaziçi) in Istanbul, Turkey, thus connecting Europe and Asia. The bridge extends between Ortaköy (in Europe) and Beylerbeyi (in Asia).

It is a gravity-anchored suspension bridge with steel towers and inclined hangers. It is 1,560 m (5,118 ft) long with a deck width of 33.40 m (110 ft). The distance between the towers (main span) is 1,074 m (3,524 ft) and the total height of the towers is 165 m (541 ft). The clearance of the bridge from sea level is 64 m (210 ft).

Its construction started on February 20th, 1970 and ended on June 1st, 1973. The bridge was opened on October 30th, 1973.

Upon its completion in 1973, the Bosphorus Bridge had the fourth-longest suspension bridge span in the world, and the longest outside the United States Currently, the Bosphorus Bridge has the 33rd-longest suspension bridge span in the world.

Every October, the annual Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon crosses the bridge on its way from Asia to Europe. During the marathon, the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic.

In October, visitors participate in the 'fun run' and cross the bridge on foot. Many take picnics to enjoy the view.

♦ Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge:

The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge ("Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror Bridge"), also known as the Second Bosphorus bridge, is a bridge in Istanbul, Turkey spanning the Bosphorus strait.

The bridge is named after the 15th-century Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, who conquered the Byzantine capital, Constantinople (Istanbul), in 1453. It carries the European route E80 (TEM Highway), Asian Highway 1, Asian Highway 5 and Otoyol 2 highways.

The bridge is situated between İstanbul Hisarüstü (European side) and Kavacık (Asian side). It is a gravity-anchored suspension bridge with steel pylons and vertical hangers. It is 1,510 m long with a deck width of 39 m. The distance between the towers (main span) is 1,090 m and their height over road level is 105 m. The clearance of the bridge from sea level is 64 m.

Its construction started in 1986 and ended on July 3rd, 1988. When completed in 1988, it was the 5th-longest suspension bridge span in the world; today it is the 24th.

♦ Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge:

The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is a bridge for rail and motor vehicle transit over the Bosphorus strait, to the north of two existing suspension bridges in Istanbul, Turkey. It was initially named the Third Bosphorus Bridge. The bridge is located near the Black Sea entrance of the Bosphorus strait, between Garipçe in Sarıyer on the European side and Poyrazköy in Beykoz on the Asian side.

Its construction started on May 29th, 2013. The bridge was opened on August 26th, 2016.

The 58.4-metre-wide (192 ft) bridge is 2,164 m (7,100 ft) in length with a main span of 1,408 m (4,619 ft). The main span is the ninth longest suspension bridge in the world.

At 322 m (1,056 ft), the bridge is one of the tallest bridges in the world. After the Millau Viaduct in France and the Pingtang Bridge in China, it is the third-tallest bridge in the world of any type. The bridge is also one of the world's widest suspension bridges, at 58.4 metres (192 ft) wide.

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