Izmit Bay Bridge, the construction of which is continuing within the scope of the Gebze – Orhangazi – Izmir Highway project, will reduce the road journey between Istanbul – Izmir to 3.5 hours. Work is continuing at full speed and it is aimed that the bridge be put into service in the second half of this year.
However, the debates on the crossing fee are attracting more interest than the building of the bridge itself. In accordance with the requirements of the agreement, vehicles which cross the bridge will pay 35 dollars + VAT (122 liras with its current equivalent) for a single crossing. If the Izmit Bay Bridge opens with this fee, it will be the most expensive among the suspension bridges in the world.
The minister had said, ‘The cheapest road’
Earlier, Binali Yıldırım, the Minister for Transport, had made the statement, “When we compare it with the various bridges and roads in the different areas of the world, the Izmit Bay Bridge is the cheapest road in terms of its fees.”
When bridges which have similar characteristics in terms of their building technique are looked at, the crossing fees vary from country to country. However, in contrast with the claim of Minister Yıldırım, it can be seen that these fees are lower. There are even countries where no crossing fee is collected. For instance, crossing fees are not collected from the Yi Sun-Sin bridge in South Korea, or from the Högakustenbron (High Coast) bridge in Sweden.
The only bridge which is close to the announced fee of the Izmit Bay Bridge is situated in Denmark. The length of the Storebæltsforbindelsen (Great Belt Fixed Link) bridge, which can be crossed for 35.1 dollars during the daytime on weekdays, and for 43.5 dollars including the return fee, is close to 7 kilometers. The bridge in Denmark is in third place in the world with the largest gap length – 1.624 meters. The Izmit Bay Bridge, which will be in fourth place in the world with its 1.550 meter widest gap, while its total length is close to 2.7 kilometers.