Another lane of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet (FSM) Bridge will be closed down as of tomorrow, July 25.
The changes will raise the number of lanes shut down on the bridge to three, further straining Istanbul’s already-heavy traffic. Alternative transportation methods, such as increased sea transport and more busses, will be offered to ease drivers’ troubles during the repair work, officials have promised.
Closing of the lanes is part of earthquake proofing work that is being carried on the bridge. It caused chaos to Istanbul’s congested traffic flow. The summer heat and lack of communication to the public led to hours of gridlock every day in the beginning of the maintenance work. The public fleeing to alternative transportation causing even more congestion at peak times on the first bridge and on ferry boats.
The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, also known as the Second Bosphorus Bridge (in Turkish: Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü, F.S.M. Köprüsü or 2. Boğaziçi Köprüsü), is spanning the Bosphorus strait. When completed in 1988 it had the 6th longest suspension bridge span in the world; today it is 15th.
The bridge is named after the 15th century Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, who took Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453 and ended the Byzantine Empire. It carries the European route E80, Asian Highway 1 and Otoyol 2 highways.