Third Istanbul bridge makes less than one third of expected income in 2017

The third bridge spanning Istanbul’s Bosporus Straits made a total of $135 million from tolls in 2017, far less than the $464 million the government guaranteed it would pay to its builders each year, independent news site Diken reported.

The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, towards the north of the strait near the city’s new third airport, is one of the tallest suspension bridges in the world with a height of 322 metres. Opened in August 2016, more than 100,000 vehicles a day now cross the bridge, according to the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry.

The government guaranteed ICA, the company operating the bridge, an annual payment of  $464 million, but in its first full year the bridge amassed an income of only $135 million, Diken said.

The eight-lane bridge was one of the huge infrastructure projects that helped Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan win re-election in June elections.