Turkey: bridge's toll fee jumps before construction ended

09 October, 12:43

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, OCTOBER 9 - The toll for an under-construction bridge over the Izmit Gulf as part of the Istanbul-Izmir highway project has already increased, before it has even been opened. The increase, as daily Hurriyet online reported, is due to the Turkish Lira's depreciation against the U.S. dollar since officials announced the fee four years ago at the bridge's groundbreaking ceremony on October 29, 2010. The toll fee to cross the bridge had been set at 35 US dollars plus value added tax, but at that time 1 US dollar cost 1.43 Turkish Liras, way below the approximately 2.3 liras today. The three-kilometer bridge is projected to be the longest suspension bridge in the world. It will cut the 70-minute drive around the gulf to only six minutes and is part of a large highway project that will link industrial Istanbul to Izmir, another industrial hub, as well as many Aegean tourism destinations. Officials calculate that the project will cut the journey time between the two cities to three-and-a-half hours, from the nearly nine hours on today's roads. There will be six lanes on the under-construction bridge, in addition to a pedestrian lane. The project is being built by six companies under the Otoyol A.S.

    consortium. As the construction continues, the height of the towers of the bridge already exceeds 120 meters. The highway project consists of 384 kilometers of highway and 43 kilometers of linking roads. (ANSAmed).

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