- historical event:
- At the moment of its completion, it was the largest suspension bridge outside the USA. Its support columns were 105 meters tall. It is estimated that over one billion vehicles have crossed the bridge so far.
The well-known bridge over the Bosporus in Istanbul was completed on this day in 1973. It was the first permanent bridge that connected Europe to Asia. The idea of such a bridge was conceived almost 2,500 years ago, when the Persians under Emperor Xerxes built a pontoon bridge between the two continents, allowing the massive Persian army to enter Europe and invade Greece. However, this bridge was temporary, most likely built by linking together ships or other floating objects. Apart from this, the Persian “bridge” was not located at the Bosporus, but further south, at the Dardanelles.
The building of a modern bridge over the Bosporus began in 1970, and was completed on this day three years later. It represented a massive undertaking because it was the longest suspension bridge outside the U.S. at the time of its completion. Its support columns are around 105 meters tall, and ships of up to 64 meters in height can pass underneath it. The bridge is 1,510 meters long, and the greatest distance between its columns is over 1,000 meters.
The bridge has eight lanes, of which six are used for traffic, while the other two are used for emergency stopping. It is estimated that over one billion vehicles have crossed the bridge so far. Starting in 2007, the bridge has been illuminated by a computerized LED lighting system, developed by Philips.