South Korean contractors DL E&C and SK have been honored by the European Convention on Steel Construction (ECCS) for their 1915 Çanakkale Bridge over Turkey’s Dardanelles Strait.
The two beat competition from 20 other entrants to win the award for Best European Steel Bridge. The ECCS selects recipients of this award every two years, with the most recent ceremony taking place last week in Istanbul.
The structure has a total length of 3,563m and a central span of 2,023m, which means it has won the title of the world’s longest suspension bridge since crossing Akashi Kaikyo in Kobe, Japan.
Korean companies used cutting-edge engineering on the project, such as ultra-high-tensile wires. DL E&C commented after the award, “Our technological prowess is highly recognized through the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge project. We will continue to push forward for global construction projects.
The victory will give a boost to Korea’s plans to expand its construction exports to the rest of the world (see further reading).
In July, Seoul announced plans to help companies win overseas contracts worth $50 billion a year. The goal was to reverse the stagnation of Korea’s construction and engineering industries: advance overseas orders fell from a peak of $72 billion in 2010 to $31 billion in 2021.
According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who opened the bridge in March, the Çanakkale cost 2.5 billion euros to build, but will generate 5.3 billion euros in economic output, create 118,000 jobs and generate 2 .4 billion euros in revenue.
The bridge, which was named after an Ottoman naval victory in World War I, is the first over the Dardanelles and the sixth crossing between European and Asian Turkey, alongside three other bridges and two tunnels.
It is located 10 km south of the Sea of Marmara and its six lanes will be part of a 321 km, $2.8 billion project to connect the Thracian and Anatolian highways.
DL E&C and SK will operate the bridge for 12 years, after which they will hand it over to the Turkish government.