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Astaldi Seeks $3.5 Billion in Loans for Turkish Bridge Project

An Astaldi SpA-led group building the world’s second-longest suspension bridge in Turkey is seeking $3.5 billion of loans, according to the Italian builder.

Astaldi, Japan’s Itochu Corp. and IHI Corp. and five Turkish contractors are seeking the first slice of a loan to finance the $6 billion project which includes a highway linking Istanbul to Izmir and a crossing over Turkey’s Izmit Bay.

The consortium may seek more funds later, a spokeswoman for the Rome-based builder said.

The 420-kilometer (260-mile) Gebze-Izmir Highway and 3 kilometer (1.8 mile) suspension bridge is designed to cut travel time between Istanbul and Izmir by more than half to about three hours and boost trade with adjacent regions.

Izmit Bridge’s length is surpassed only by Japan’s Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, according to Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency.

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