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Canakkale Bridge Is Now Open

World's longest suspension bridge, which was built in just five years, has been inaugurated by the Turkish president Erdogan on the anniversary of the Battle of Dardanelles.

Linking Asian and European continents over the waters of Dardanelles strait, where allied navies had once had their worst planned maritime operation sunk 107 years ago on 18 March, the bridge has a main span of 2023 meters.

Australian company Marrs Contracting played a crucial role in the construction of the bridge by deploying its specialised heavy weight lifting cranes.

Marrs engineers achieved a world record by lifting a 155-tonne piece 328 meters above the water during the construction.

The project cost is A$1.4bln and has been financed through a PPP scheme, that often draws criticism in Turkey. Large head contractors who built the bridge would collect tolls until 2034, then hand over ownership to the Turkish state. The treasury, until then will have to top up the tolls to a daily minimum of 40-thousand vehicles at a 15 Euros one-way current rate.

With Dardanelles and Gallipoli's joint historic importance for Turkey and Australia, the participation of an Australian company in this mega project is seen as a welcome and symbolic one.

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