And finally…deal struck to build world’s longest suspension bridge


The project to build what will be world’s longest span suspension bridge once complete has reached financial close.

The €2.43 billion Malkara – Çanakkale Motorway public-private partnership (PPP) project in Turkey includes plans for the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge which will cost €1.68 billion and span 2023m across the Dardanelles Strait.

A headroom clearance of 70m under the main span will provide safe navigation across the busy waterway for the world’s tallest ships, while the 318m tall steel towers will be founded on concrete caissons in the Çanakkale Strait.

Situated in a seismic zone, the bridge has been designed to withstand both earthquakes and severe winds.

Other construction works included in the PPP package include a 88km three-lane motorway between Malkara and Çanakkale, 48km of connection roads, 35km of access roads, six junctions, four viaducts, 36 overpasses, 33 underpasses and 140 culverts, as well as four service areas and tolling facilities.

Contractor Mott MacDonald carried out technical due diligence of the project documentation up to financial close.

This included reviewing design, construction methodology, operation and maintenance proposals, as well as transaction documents, the project’s budget, construction programme and payment mechanism. The consultancy will now provide construction and operations monitoring services in an ongoing role.

Emre Yukarioglu, Mott MacDonald’s project manager, said: “The project, which involves 24 lenders including local and international banks and export credit agencies, is part of a greater development plan devised by the Turkish Directorate of Highways to complete a ring road around Marmara. Our local team based in Istanbul, supported by long-span bridge experts and our transport advisory team from the UK, worked hard to support a large lending group and comply with the tight timeline to bring the project to financial close.”

“This prestigious project, which involves the world’s longest span suspension bridge, helps reinforce our position not only in the bridges sector but as a leading lenders’ technical advisor, not only in Turkey but worldwide,” Professor Abdul Farooq, bridge specialist at Mott MacDonald, added.

Construction of the Malkara – Çanakkale Motorway PPP, which has a concession period of just over 16 years, is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

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