One of three suspension bridges that span the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, linking Europe and Asia (alongside the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, also linking Europe and Asia), is Turkey’s Bosphorus Bridge (Turkish: Boaziçi Köprüsü), also known as the First Bridge (Turkish: Birinci Köprü) or the 15 Temmuz Martyrs Bridge (Turkish: The bridge connects Beylerbeyi) and Ortaköy (Europe) (in Asia).
A suspension bridge built with steel towers and slanted hangers relies on gravity to function. The roof is supported by steel cables. It has a width of 33.40 meters (108 feet) and a length of 1,560 meters (5,118 feet) (110 feet). The tallest tower rises 165 meters (541 feet) above the ground, and the main span is 1,074 meters (3,524 feet) long (541 ft). The vertical clearance of the bridge is 64 meters above mean sea level (210 ft).
The Bosphorus Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span outside of the United States when it was finished in 1973. (Only the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Mackinac Bridge had a longer span in 1973.) The Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (Second Bosphorus Bridge), which were both built in 1988, held the record for Asia’s and Europe’s longest suspension bridges, respectively, before the construction of the Humber Bridge in 1981. (which the Minami Bisan-Seto Bridge surpassed in 1989). The Bosphorus Bridge’s suspension span is currently the 40th longest in the world.
The bridge is used by the yearly Intercontinental Istanbul Eurasia Marathon, which crosses from Asia to Europe in October. The temporary halting of bridge traffic is necessary due to the marathon.
Visitors cross the bridge during the “fun run” on the second Sunday of October. Many people bring picnics so they can enjoy the scenery.
The bridge could be seen on Turkish 1000-lira banknotes from 1978 to 1986.
Venus Williams of the United States and Ipek Enolu of Turkey faced off on the bridge on May 15, 2005, at 7:00 a.m. local time, in what is thought to be the first-ever tennis match to be played on both continents. A preview of the 2005 WTA Istanbul Cup was provided by the five-minute event. They each tossed a tennis ball into the Bosphorus to conclude the display.
On July 17, 2005, at 10:30 a.m. local time, British Formula One driver David Coulthard made a powerslide turn at the toll booth as he crossed the bridge from Europe to Asia and back again. He returned to the Dolmabahçe Palace garden after his journey and parked his vehicle there. The automated surveillance system issued Coulthard a 20 euro fine because he had driven his Formula 1 car across the bridge without paying the toll. His teammates agreed to cover the cost for him.
For Tiger Woods, who was in town for the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open golf tournament, which took place between November 7 and 10, to make a few show shots from the Asian side to the European side, the bridge was closed to traffic for about an hour on November 5.
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