Turkey has 24 large-scale projects in the works to lay down 5,500kms of new highways that will make traveling easier and cheaper, the local Italian Foreign Trade Commission (ICE) made known in a note on Wednesday. Among them is a joint venture between IC Ictas Insaat and Italian construction company Astaldi SpA to build a third bridge from the capital over the Bosphorus strait. To be called Northern Marmara, it will save the country 1.8 billion dollars in energy and workforce expenses, according to Turkey\'s highway authority. Another project is the new Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir highway, which will link three industrial districts and reduce traffic between Gebze, near Istanbul, and the Aegean city of Izmir by 30%. It will also reduce the trip from Istanbul to Bursa, which is the heart of the national car-making industry, from three to one hour. A joint venture between Nurol, Ozaltin, Makyol, Yuksel-Gocay and Astaldi, called Otoyol Yatirim ve Isletme, has won the bid to construct 421kms of new highways, to be managed for 22 years, as of October 2010. The project includes a great suspension bridge to be built over Izmit Gulf. A new tunnel linking Izmir and Manisa provinces will allow savings of 50 million Turkish liras (20.6 million euros). A new highway between the capital, Ankara, and Samsun province near the Black Sea will improve access to Russia, the Caucasus countries and Central Asia, and link them to the Mediterranean.