A landmark road bridge over the Marmara Sea opened to traffic in Turkey on Thursday.
Osmangazi Bridge, a 2,682-meter long structure, is said to be the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world and the second longest in Europe.
The $1.3 billion bridge is named after Osman Gazi, the founder and first sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
The bridge aims to drastically cut travel time between Istanbul and the country’s western provinces.
The construction of the quake-resistant bridge began in 2010.
It was inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
Erdogan and Yildirim have for years championed expanding the country's airport and road facilities in order to achieve better connectivity between provinces.
Some ask why Erdogan gets elected well look at new bridge-4th largest in world-now Istanbul-Izmir in 3.5 hours-was 9 pic.twitter.com/hZX6RUt0rn
— Louis Fishman (@Istanbultelaviv) June 30, 2016
The bridge lies in the southern shore of the Marmara Sea along the route of the new six-lane Istanbul-Izmir Highway Project, which cost around $6.3 billion.
The 421-kilometer long highway will cut the average journey time between Izmir and Istanbul from 10 hours to approximately four hours.
The new bridge and highway will also mean that the drive-time between the country's second busiest Sabiha Airport and the eastern province of the Bursa Province would be less than an hour.
The highway project is being built through a public-private partnership and is the first road project in the country to be procured under the Build-Operate-Transfer model.
Turkey's superstar professional motorcycle racer Kenan Sofuoglu, set a new record at the inauguration ceremony.
He reached 400 kilometers per hour on his sports bike on the bridge.