Sinamalé Bridge

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China-Maldives Friendship Bridge
Sinamalé Bridge immediately after completion.jpg
The bridge after completion in September 2018
Coordinates 4°10′24″N 73°31′28″E / 4.1733°N 73.5245°E / 4.1733; 73.5245Coordinates: 4°10′24″N 73°31′28″E / 4.1733°N 73.5245°E / 4.1733; 73.5245
CarriesMotor vehicles
CrossesHulhulé, Malé
LocaleMaldives
Official nameSinamalé Bridge
Characteristics
Total length2.1 km
Width20.3 m
History
DesignerUnknown
Constructed byChina Harbour Engineering
Construction end30 August 2018
Opened22 September 2018

The Sinamalé Bridge links the islands of Malé and Hulhulé in the Maldives. The 2.1 km long bridge has two car lanes and separate lanes for bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians,[1] and opened on 30 August 2018. It was originally called the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge due to funding received from the Chinese government.[2] [3][4] It is the first inter-island bridge in the Maldives.[5]

The idea of a bridge between the two islands of Malé and Hulhulé was first raised by an Indian company earlier entrusted with the expansion of the airport. Due to a diplomatic dispute between India and the Maldives, the Indian firm later lost the expansion project for the airport, and work for the construction of the bridge went to the Chinese.[6] On 20 December 2011, the cabinet decided to proceed with the construction of a 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.[7]

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.[8] China Harbour Engineering (CHEC) is the main contractor and had been praised for the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge in Malaysia.[9]

After its opening, taxis drivers were charging as much as MVR 200 to cross the bridge, prompting the government to set a maximum price of MVR 40 for the crossing.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://maldivesindependent.com/business/china-maldives-friendship-bridge-project-launched-121081
  2. ^ http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1044977.shtml
  3. ^ ""A new metropolis links up"". The Business Report. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  4. ^ ""Sina-Male' Bridge: No tolls until September 23"". Maldives Times. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  5. ^ Macan-Markar, Marwaan (September 20, 2018). "Maldivians head to presidential election in China's shadow". Nikkei Asian Review. 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.
  6. ^ https://theprint.in/security/indias-loss-in-the-maldives-is-chinas-gain-and-it-is-showing/119602/
  7. ^ "The President's Office - Cabinet gives go-ahead for Male'-Hulhule Bridge". The President's Office. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  8. ^ Housing Minister Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has on Tuesday revealed that approximately USD 210 million will be spent on the Male’-Hulhule bridge
  9. ^ Witnessed by the President of China and the President of Maldives, CHEC Signed the MOU for Maldives Comprehensive Infrastructure Project CHEC
  10. ^ http://corporatemaldives.com/government-fixed-a-maximum-price-that-can-be-charged-for-a-taxi-journey-from-male-to-hulhumale/