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Izmit bridge design will be earthquake resilient

Building a bridge in one of the world’s most seismically active areas is set to test consultant Cowi’s engineering skills following its appointment as designer for Turkey’s Izmit Bay bridge.

Japan-based main contractor IHI has appointed Cowi to design the link between the Turkish cities of Izmir and Istanbul, which will be the world’s fourth largest suspension bridge when complete. IHI won the contract for the €800M (£700M) project over bids from Chinese and Korean contractors based on cost and programming.

“The bridge over Izmit Bay is an extremely complex project with a free span of 1.55km between its pylons and a total length of 3km,” said Cowi vice president of major bridges Henrik Andersen.

According to Cowi’s project director Kent Fuglsang, the bridge will be “partly isolated” from the impact of seismic activities by placing the 250m high steel pylons on concrete foundations that will rest on a large gravel bed so “the pylons can slide in the event of a major earthquake”. Construction on site is set to start early next year and be completed in 2015.

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