Dezeen Magazine

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey

World's longest suspension bridge opens in Turkey

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge has reached completion in Turkey with a span of 2,023 metres, becoming the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Open to traffic over the Dardanelles waterway, the massive structure was created by consulting group COWI for contractor DLSY to connect Turkey's European and Asian shores.

Underside of 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey
The world's longest suspension bridge has opened in Turkey

The bridge, named after the year of an important Ottoman naval victory against the British and the French during world war one, takes the title of the world's longest suspension bridge from the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan, which has a 1,992-metre-long span.

The distinctive 318-metre-high red towers from which the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge's steel deck is suspended are also the tallest of any suspension bridge in the world, according to COWI.

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey
It features two distinctive red towers

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is located south of the Sea of Marmara. It is expected to carry up to 45,000 vehicles across its six lanes each day and support both tourism and commercial activity in the region.

While the main design work was carried out by COWI, the team also included construction companies Daelim, Limak, SK and Yapi Merkezi.

According to COWI, the position of the bridge posed many design challenges, including high winds and high seismic activity. It achieves its aerodynamic stability partly through a twin-box girder.

The clearance between the water and the deck was engineered to accommodate high-stacked container ships and cruise ships that need to pass under it.

"The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge has been a fantastic project to work with," concluded COWI's project director Inger Birgitte Kroon.

"Not just for all the technical challenges that we as engineers love but also for the strong collaboration with DLSY, the owner and other involved parties," she continued. "Only with a collaborative mindset from all parties has it been possible to design and construct a world record suspension bridge in less than five years."

Suspension bridges are one of the seven main types of bridges that feature in the Dezeen guide to bridge design and architecture. The structures feature a deck suspended from vertical ties or suspension cables, attached to tensile cables slung between towers.

Other recent suspension bridges featured on Dezeen include the world's longest glass bridge in China and a 516-metre-long pedestrian suspension bridge in Portugal.