Tuesday, May 23, 2017

FATİH SULTAN MEHMET BRIDGE

Bosphorus, İstanbul - Turkey

Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge / Istanbul photo fsm_bridge115.jpg

PHOTOGRAPHS ALBUM

The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, also known as the Second Bosphorus Bridge (in Turkish: Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü, F.S.M. Köprüsü or 2. Köprü), is a bridge in Istanbul, Turkey spanning the Bosphorus strait (Turkish: Boğaziçi). When completed in 1988 it had the 6th longest suspension bridge span in the world; in 2012 it is 17th.

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

Location
The bridge is situated between Hisarüstü (European side) and Kavacık (Asian side). It is a gravity-anchored suspension bridge with steel pylons and vertical hangers. The aerodynamic deck is hanging on double vertical steel cables. 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.

Construction
The bridge was designed by Freeman Fox and Partners and Botek Bosphorus Technical Consulting Corp., who had previously also designed the Bosphorus Bridge. An international consortium of three Japanese companies (including IHI Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), one Italian (Impregilo) and one Turkish company (STFA) carried out the construction works.

The bridge was completed on July 3, 1988 and opened by Prime Minister Turgut Özal who drove his official car by himself as the first to pass. The cost of the bridge amounted to USD 130 million.

Transportation
The bridge is on the Trans-European Motorway between Edirne and Ankara. The highway bridge has four lanes for vehicular traffic plus one emergency lane in each direction. On weekday mornings, commuter traffic flows mostly westbound to the European part, so five of the eight lanes run westbound and only three eastbound.

Conversely, on weekday evenings, five lanes are dedicated to eastbound traffic and three lanes only to westbound. No pedestrians are allowed to use the bridge. Nowadays, around 150,000 vehicles are passing daily in both directions, almost 65% being automobiles.

Toll collection
Fatih Sultan Mehmet is a toll bridge, but payment is required from only the vehicles passing from Europe to Asia (as in the First Bosphorus Bridge, no payment is required while passing from Asia to Europe.) Since April 2008, cash payments are no longer accepted, having been replaced by a remote payment system.

In addition to OGS the contactless smart card KGS system is in use. An OGS device or KGS card can be obtained at various stations before the toll plaza of highways and bridges.

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