The world’s longest suspension bridge, the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge spanning the Dardanelles strait in Turkey, has opened and will carry up to 45,000 vehicles daily.
With a main span of 2,023m, the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge beats Japan’s Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, which has a 1,992m main span and takes the world record as the longest spanning bridge. The Çanakkale Bridge’s two distinctive red towers have a height of 318m, the tallest in the world for suspension bridges.
The bridge - the first fixed crossing over the 50km-long Dardanelles strait - was officially opened by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and honours the Ottoman Turks’ naval victory over British and French forces at the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. It lies just south of the coastal town of Lapseki on the European side of the strait and Gelibolu on the Asian side and around 10km south of the Sea of Marmara. The bridge is the centrepiece of the planned 321km US$2.8 billion Kınalı-Balıkesir Motorway, which will connect the O-3 and O-7 motorways in East Thrace to the O-5 motorway in Anatolia.
Cowi has been the consultant for the design-build contractor DLSY joint venture consisting of Daelim, Limak, SK and Yapi Merkezi since the start of the project in the spring of 2017. Cowi carried out detailed design of the bridge as well as construction engineering for the erection of the bridge girder.
According to Cowi, the area where the bridge is located is marked by several challenges, such as high winds, high seismic activity and the passage of highly stacked container ships. Strong winds are always critical for a long span suspension bridge. To ensure aerodynamic stability a twin-box girder was adopted.
Formwork provider Doka worked on the bridge between 2018 and 2019 and later worked on the extensive corridor across Turkey’s western region, this time as a partner on the V01, V06 and V08 viaducts located in Malkara Gallipoli and Lapseki. Doka Turkey delivered an optimal solution for the anchorage blocks, approach viaducts and the viaducts themselves.