For the first time in 2,500 years, men have been walking from Asian to European Turkey across the historic Bosphorus Strait.
For the first time in 2,500 years, men have been walking from Asian to European Turkey across the historic Bosphorus Strait. On Monday (24 April), a number of journalists took careful steps across the partly completed Bosphorus Bridge. The last time men had made the crossing was when King Darius of Persia strung a flimsy bridge of boast across the water to get his armies across.
The bridge is to be opened in October, 1973, and it's expected to speed trade and traffic across the age-old barrier. And the opening will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
The catwalk along which pressmen and workers walked on Monday is at approximately the same level at which two cables will be slung to suspend the bridge's main 1,174-yard (1,074-metres) span. The finished span will carry six lanes for traffic and two pedestrian ways. The catwalk is set at 280 feet (85 metres) above the middle of the Straits.
The British-designed bridge is being built by an Anglo-West German consortium at a cost of some 300 million Turkish Liras (about 8 million Pounds Sterling). Work began in April, 1970 and in January of this year, the two banks were physically linked when the first two cables were hoisted atop the towers on each side.
Economically, the bridge has become a necessity and it will cut travel time from hours, often involving a long wait for a ferry, to a matter of minutes.