The construction of a third bridge across the Bosporus in Turkey will create between 6,000 and 7,000 new jobs, according to the Transportation Minister, Binali Yildrim. The main purpose of the bridge will be to ease the traffic congestion in Istanbul, as the current transportation system isn’t adequate for the city. The bridge will enable vehicles to bypass local traffic, and should significantly shorten the travel time between Europe and Asia.
The bridge will link the Aegean and Marmara regions with the Gebze-Izmir Highway which is currently under construction. The operation of the bridge, which will be part of the 21 km long North Marmara Highway Project, should create employment for between 700 and 1,000 people. The project is being estimated to cost around $4.5 billion, and is due to be completed by the end of 2015.
The construction project has been awarded to a Turkish Italian construction consortium, and they are expected to complete the construction of the bridge within 36 months. The new bridge will incorporate a railway system which wasn’t in the initial plans. It will be a two-storey bridge with the railway operating at the lower level, while the highway is on the upper level.
The railway system will connect Izmit, which is the Asian side of Istanbul with the province of Edirne, which is in the European part of Turkey. In addition Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports will be linked together with an underwater railway tunnel connecting the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. The completion of the Gebze-Izmir Highway should shorten the distance between Izmit and Istanbul by 140 km, and is due to be completed in seven years.