Speaking to a group of journalists in Ankara yesterday, Mehmet Cahit Turan, head of the General Directorate of Highways (KGM), said the upper deck will be for vehicular use and the lower deck will be used by trains for traveling between Asia and Europe.He made his remarks with regard to the $6.5 billion Northern Marmara Highway that also includes the construction of the third bridge over the Bosporus. The bridge will be built between Garipçe on İstanbul’s European side and Poyrazköy on the Asian side. It is expected to cost between $950 million and $1 billion, Turan said. According to information provided, the railways on the first level will be installed as soon as construction of connecting rail links is completed. He said trains crossing the bridge will reach a maximum speed of 120km (74.5 miles) per hour. The railways over the bridge are likely to push the cost of the project over $1.2 billion. The public tenders for the Northern Marmara Highway, including a separate tender for the third Bosporus bridge, will be held by the end of this year. Construction is expected to start next year.
Turan said they are very happy with the interest shown by Turkish and foreign companies to take part in the project. So far, six construction companies from Turkey and Japan’s P.S. Mitsubishi Construction have already purchased the official document listing the terms of the tender, while 22 others from Turkey, Japan, Austria and Italy have indicated they are considering participating in the tender.
On a separate project concerning construction of a bridge over the Dardanelles, Turan said the tender will be held in 2013 to give interested companies extra time to seek financing at a time when they are already in a search for money related to their plans to get involved in the third Bosporus bridge. “For the Dardanelles, we are considering the finance needs of the companies,” he said.