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Friday, January 25, 2013

Bosphorus Bridge

Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge (Turkish: Boğaziçi Köprüsü or 1. Boğaziçi Köprüsü) is one of the two bridges in Istanbul, Turkey, spanning the Bosphorus strait (Turkish: Boğaziçi) and thus connecting Europe and Asia (the other one is the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, which is called the Second Bosphorus Bridge.) The bridge is located between Ortaköy (on the European side) and Beylerbeyi (on the Asian side). It is a gravity anchored suspension bridge with steel pylons and inclined hangers. The aerodynamic deck is hanging on zigzag steel cables. It is 1,510 m (4,954 ft) long with a deck width of 39 m (128 ft). The distance between the towers (main span) is 1,074 m (3,524 ft) and their height over road level is 105 m (344 ft). The clearance of the bridge from sea level is 64 m (210 ft). The Bosphorus Bridge had the 4th longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1973, and the longest outside the United States. At present, it is the 17th longest suspension bridge span in the world.The idea of a bridge crossing the Bosphorus dates back to antiquity. For Emperor Darius I The Great of Persia (522 BC - 485 BC), as recorded by the Greek writer Herodotus in his Histories, Mandrocles of Samos once engineered a pontoon bridge that stretched across the Bosphorus, linking Asia to Europe, so that Darius could pursue the fleeing Scythians as well as move his army into position in the Balkans to overwhelm Macedon.[1] The first project for a permanent bridge across the Bosphorus was proposed to Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II by the Bosphorus Railroad Company in 1900, which included a rail link between the continents.[2]

The decision to build a bridge across the Bosphorus was taken in 1957 by Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. For the structural engineering work, a contract was signed with the British firm Freeman Fox & Partners in 1968. The bridge was designed by the renowned British civil engineers Sir Gilbert Roberts and William Brown who also designed the Humber Bridge, Severn Bridge, Forth Road Bridge, Auckland Harbour Bridge and the Volta River Bridge. The construction started in February 1970, the ceremonies were attended by President Cevdet Sunay and Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel and was carried out by the Turkish firm Enka Construction & Industry Co. along with the co-contractors Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Co. Ltd. (England) and Hochtief AG (Germany). Thirty-five engineers and 400 men worked on the project.

The bridge was completed on 30 October 1973, one day after the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, and opened by President Fahri Korutürk and Prime Minister Naim Talu. The cost of the bridge amounted to USD 200 million.

At the time the bridge was opened, much was made of its being the first bridge between Europe and Asia since the pontoon bridge of Xerxes in 480 BCE. That bridge, however, spanned the Hellespont (Dardanelles), some distance away from the Bosphorus

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