Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge: Per the legend, the first person to cross the Bosphorus, a natural boundary between Europe and Asia, was Io, one of Zeus’ lovers who was changed into a heifer and forced to swim away from Hera’s fury. The Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean, has long been a crucial place for the flow of men and products, dating back to the founding of Constantinople in 330 B.C. As Istanbul grew into one of the world’s great capitals, it became even more significant.
Bridges connecting the beaches of the two continents were ultimately erected in the previous century to address this requirement, joining otherwise remote places and encouraging the growth of centuries-old trade routes between Europe and Asia. The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the second bridge across the Bosphorus (constructed by Salini Impregilo, WeBuild, between 1985 and 1988), is still an important part of the Turkish capital’s and region’s economic modernisation. For its historical context, this infrastructure project was unusual.
Istanbul’s lights illuminate the Straight as twilight falls from the Galata Bridge, where fisherman and tourists swarm to the Ortaköy district on the European side of the Bosphorus, and the noise and bustle of traffic seems busier than ever. Major bridges are arteries that connect distant regions, not only tools for reducing travel times between two sides of a city. The work of Salini Impregilo (WeBuild) extends beyond the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, linking to a 247-kilometer (153-mile) long highway that connects the European cities of Kinali and Kazanci in Asia.
As a result, the project has evolved into a revolutionary infrastructure that has aided in the growth of the Turkish capital over time. Istanbul had a population of 2 million people in the 1970s, but it now has a population of over 13 million. The wealth produced in the city has increased by an annual average of 4.5 percent during the last 50 years, and the city’s economy accounts for 40% of the national GDP.
The city’s development has been aided by the second bridge across the Bosphorus, which increased trade between European and Asian coastlines by 31.8 percent in the seven years since it opened.
The importance and scope of this endeavour have not changed since then. The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, which opened more than 30 years ago, is still regarded as one of the most beautiful and functional bridges in the world. Its shape, features, and the allure of the location have done the rest, transforming an infrastructure project into a symbol of human progress.