Turkey’s massive 1915 Canakkale Bridge opens to traffic, offering bridge from Europe to Asia

More-than-mile-long roadway is part of 200-mile turnpike.

Updated: March 19, 2022 - 10:23am

A massive bridge in eastern Turkey spanning an enormous stretch of water opened to traffic this week, offering a quick path from Europe to Asia across what is now the largest mid-span suspension bridge in the world.

The 1915 Canakkale Bridge has a main span of just over 6,600 feet, putting it roughly 100 feet ahead of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan’s Hyōgo Prefecture. It spans the  Dardanelles strait near the Sea of Marmara. 

The bridge is meant to form the centerpiece of the Kınalı-Balıkesir Motorway, a planned turnpike that will serve as the only motorway connecting Asia and Europe outside of Istanbul. 

The bridge’s construction start and opening dates, both Mar. 18 2017 and 2022, respectively, are meant to reference the Mar. 18 Turkish naval victory during World War I. 

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