China-Maldives Friendship Bridge
An aerial view of the bridge
|Official name||Sinamalé Bridge|
|Maintained by||China Harbour Engineering|
|Total length||2.1 km|
|Constructed by||China Harbour Engineering|
|Construction end||30 August 2018|
|Opened||7 September 2018|
|Inaugurated||30 August 2018|
The Sinamalé Bridge links the islands of Malé, Hulhulé and Hulhumalé (through Hulhulé') in the Maldives. The 2.1 km long bridge has two car lanes and separate lanes for motorcycles, and pedestrians, and opened on 30 August 2018. It was originally called the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge due to funding received from the Chinese government. It is the first inter-island bridge in the Maldives.
The idea of a bridge between the two islands of Malé and Hulhulé was first raised in 2007 and was widely discussed in 2008 following the pledge on constructing a bridge by the then president Maumoon during his presidential campaign. Mohamed Nasheed, another presidential candidate, and the opposition criticized the idea at first, but later presented a counter pledge to link Malé, Hulhulé Island, Hulhumalé, Villingili, and Gulhifalhu via a bridge.
Nasheed won the following election, and on 20 December 2011, his cabinet decided to proceed with the construction of the bridge between Malé and Hulhule under the Malé decongestion plans "to provide affordable housing for the people, and resolve other social issues", according to an announcement made on a government website. However, the project stalled when Nasheed resigned. It was restarted by president Abdulla Yameen in 2014 and was officially inaugurated in 2018.
It is estimated the bridge would cost US$210 million, of which US$126 million will be paid by the Chinese government as a grant in aid. China Harbour Engineering (CHEC) is the main contractor and had been praised for the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge in Malaysia.
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The most visible is the Chinese-Maldives Friendship Bridge, the first cross-sea link in the country and built with aid from Beijing is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
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- Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizzu has on Tuesday revealed that approximately USD 210 million will be spent on the Male’-Hulhule bridge
- Witnessed by the President of China and the President of Maldives, CHEC Signed the MOU for Maldives Comprehensive Infrastructure Project CHEC