Today in Transportation History – 1988: Turkey Opens Bosphorus Strait Span

Fatih_Sultan_Mehmet_Bridge_panoramaIn the Republic of Turkey, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul was completed about two years after construction on it had begun. The completion of the 4,950-foot-long bridge was formally commemorated by having Turgut Özal, who was Turkey’s prime minister at the time, become the first person to drive an automobile across the new structure.

The bridge, which was named after the 15th century Ottoman sultan known as Mehmed the Conqueror, spans the Bosphorus strait and connects the neighborhood of Hisarüstü on the European side of Istanbul with the community of Kavacik on the Asian side of Turkey’s most populous city. At the time of its completion, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge was the world’s fifth longest suspension bridge span; it now ranks 24th in this category.​


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