Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
Learn more about Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
The Fatih Sultan Bridge, also known as the Second Bosphorus Bridge (in Turkish: Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü or 2. Boğaziçi Köprüsü), is a bridge in Istanbul, Turkey spanning the Bosphorus strait (Turkish: Boğaziçi). The bridge is named after the 15th century Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, who captured Istanbul in 1453 and ended the Byzantine Empire.
The bridge is situated between Hisarüstü (European side) and Kavacık (Asian side). It is a gravity-anchored suspension bridge with steel pylons and inclined hangers. The aerodynamic deck is hanging on double vertical steel cables. It is 1,510 m long with a deck width of 39 m. The distance between the towers (main span) is 1,090 m (World rank: 12th) and their height over road level is 105 m. The clearance of the bridge from sea level is 64 m. It was the 6th longest suspension bridge in the world when completed in 1988.
An international consortium of three Japanese companies, one Italian and one Turkish company carried out the construction. Design work was carried out by Freeman Fox & Partners who also designed the Bosphorus Bridge. It was completed on July 3, 1988 and opened by Prime Minister Turgut Özal who drove his official car by himself as the first to pass. The cost of the bridge amounted to USD 130 million.
It is on the Trans European Motorway between Edirne and Ankara. The highway bridge has four lanes for vehicular traffic plus one emergency lane in each direction. On weekday mornings, commuter traffic flows mostly westbound to the European part, so five of the eight lanes run westbound and only three eastbound. Conversely, on weekday evenings, five lanes are dedicated to eastbound traffic and three lanes only to westbound. No pedestrians are allowed to use the bridge. Nowadays, around 150,000 vehicles are passing daily in both directions, almost 65% being automobiles.
It is a toll bridge, and a toll plaza with toll booths is situated before the bridge on the European side. Toll is paid for one way passing from the European side to the Asian side. Since 1999, some of the toll booths, located to the far left as motorists approach them, are unmanned and equipped only with remote payment system (Turkish: OGS) in order to enable fast through passing. In addition to OGS, another toll pay system with special magnetic cards (Turkish: KGS) was put in service for use at specific toll boths in 2005.
Jumping from the bridge is a rather common method to commit suicide. In 2001, 146 persons attempted to jump from the two Bosphorus bridges, and 24 of them lost their lives. In 2002, 38 persons died after 190 suicide attempts by jumping.
 See also
- The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge, is located about 5 km south of this bridge.