New bridge gets its last link

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) wearing protective gear on Sunday before welding the last section of a €2.3 billion (S$3.5 billion) bridge (left) spanning the Bosphorus Strait linking Europe and Asia. The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, which is almost 60m wide, will have eight road lanes and two rail tracks, and is a key part of a major project for the city of Istanbul that includes a new airport and a canal linking the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara to bypass the Bosphorus, relieving pressure on the vessel-clogged waterway. The crossing will be open for public use by the end of August, officials said. The bridge is named after the Ottoman Sultan Selim I, who ruled from 1512 to 1520. There are two other bridges across the Bosphorus: the First Bosphorus Bridge, which opened in 1973, and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, which was completed in 1988. PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY, AGENCE FRANCE–PRESSE/TURKISH PRIME MINISTER’S PRESS OFFICE/YASIN BULBUL

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2016, with the headline 'New bridge gets its last link'. Print Edition | Subscribe