Turkish builder to replace iconic bridge in Ukraine’s Irpin

A Turkish construction firm will build a new bridge on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital to replace the one demolished to block the Russian advance toward the city, the company said Thursday.

Images of Ukrainian refugees in the Irpin area huddled under the destroyed bridge, which will be preserved as a war memorial, have become one of the most iconic scenes of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Irpin had managed to hold off the full force of Russia’s military campaign, becoming the closest Moscow’s forces got to the center of the capital some 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.

Residents of Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel waited in the bridge’s wreckage for their chance to evacuate to Kyiv, hiding from the constant shelling. They were forced to navigate a makeshift river crossing by foot to eventually flee from the Russian brutality.

ONUR Group, a company based in Istanbul, is undertaking a project to construct a new bridge to service passage to Kyiv over the Bucha River.

The firm’s construction manager Onur Ceylan underlined the geographical importance of the new bridge and the expertise of the Turkish construction sector and professionals.

“At first, there was talk about whether the original bridge would be repaired or a new one would be built, while the Ukrainian authorities agreed to keep it as a museum for later generations to see the massacre and pain experienced here,” said Ceylan.

“The request to complete a new bridge – such an important project – in such a short time shows the accomplishment of Turkish engineers, contractors and Turkish construction industry in the world,” he noted.

Bored pile works are underway on the site where the new crossing will be built, Ceylan said.

He also said that Turkish and Ukrainian experts were working together on the architectural aspects of a memorial cemetery planned for Irpin.

ONUR Group has been operating in Ukraine since 2014 and has completed hundreds of projects there, said Ceylan, adding that they were also helping Ukrainians in need as nearly 2,000 were given shelter at the company’s construction sites.

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