Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, also popularly known as the Second Bosphorous Bridge, spans the Bosphorus strait. This bridge is located in Istanbul, Turkey and was completed in 1988. By the time of completion it was the longest suspension bridge span in the entire world. The bridge name comes from the 15th century Ottoman- sultan Mehmed the conqueror. He overtook Istanbul in 1453 and later ended the Byzantine Empire. This bridge carries the Asian Highway 1, European route E80 and the Otoyol 2 highways.
The bridge is located between Kavacik on the Asian side and Hisarutsu on the European side. The bridge has vertical hangers and steel pylons. The aerodynamic deck hangs on some double vertical steel cables. The bridge has a length of nearly 5,000 feet with a deck of 128 feet in width. The distance between tower supports is 3,576 feet and tower’s actual height over the road level is about 345 feet. From the sea level, clearance of this bridge is 210 feet.
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge was actually designed by Freeman Fox and Partners together with BOTEX Bosphorus Technical Corp. the construction work was carried out by an international consortium of 3 Japanese companies, one Italian company called Impregilo and one Turkish company called SIFA. The construction ended on July 3rd, 1988 and Prime Minister Turgut Ozal opened it. The total cost of constructing this bridge amounted to $130 million.
The bridge has exactly four lanes for the vehicular traffic and one emergency lane on both directions. On weekday mornings, the commuter traffic mostly flows westbound to the European side; this means 5 of the 8 lanes run only westbound and only 3 eastbound. On weekday evenings, 5 lanes run eastbound and 3 lanes westbound. Pedestrians are not allowed on the bridge. Approximately 150,000 cars use the bridge on a daily basis.
Fatih Sultan Mehmet is a toll bridge. However, payment is only required from the cars passing from Europe towards Asia while no payment is needed when passing from Asia towards Europe. Since April of 2008, cash payment was no longer accepted; this has been replaced by a remote payment system.