The upcoming Istanbul-Izmir Highway will drastically reduce journey times across western Turkey and features one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.
ISTANBUL TO IZMIR IN 3.5 HOURS
New highway opens up western Turkey to business and tourism.
The Istanbul-Izmir Highway will cut the current nine hour journey to just three and a half.
Dubbed Otoyol 33 (0-33) the new road will stretch 427km through western Turkey linking the important regional centres of Orhangazi, Bursa and Balikesir.
It opens in stages from next year, starting at the Istanbul end, through to 2020.
Izmir is the most westerly city in Turkey, on the Aegean coast. Just 100 miles from Balikesir (the ‘Anatolian Tiger’) are the excavated ruins of Troy, the former playgrounds of Byzantine kings.
Saving one hour of the current journey in itself will be the Izmit Bay Suspension Bridge south east of Istanbul.
Currently drivers have to drive around the Gulf, or catch a ferry from Yalova (albeit across the Sea of Marmara into Istanbul, operated by a company part-owned by UK firm Stagecoach).
With a central span of 1550m, and a total length of 2682m, it will be the fourth longest suspension bridge in the world.
Like all major roads in Turkey, the Istanbul-Izmir Highway will be tolled. Rates are yet to be set for the road though a charge of €27 ($35) has been mentioned for the bridge.
That’s how we load ferries in Greece says YouTube user Alek M. It wasn’t how they loaded us onto a ferry when we were there but, hey: