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Turkey earns $310 mln from bridges, highways in 2008
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20:36, January 14, 2009

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Turkey earned a total of 493.5 million Turkish Lira (TL), or 310 million U.S. dollars last year from Istanbul bridges linking Asia to Europe and toll roads across the country, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.

More than 146 million vehicles have passed over Istanbul's two bridges in 2008 and left nearly 160 million TL (100 million dollars) to toll booths, the directorate-general for highways was quoted as saying.

Toll highways earned nearly 333 million TL (209 million dollars) from over 163 million vehicles last year, it added.

Meanwhile, according to the government officials, the operating rights for Turkey's bridges and toll roads would be transferred to private companies for 25 years.

The Turkish parliament is expected to enact a bill to open tenders for the privatization of around 2,000 kilometers of highways and two bridges over the Istanbul Strait, the directorate-general said.

It added that a number of large international companies from countries like Australia, Spain, Portugal, Japan and Italy have expressed their interests in the privatization process.

Source: Xinhua



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