Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muiz departed on a five-day visit to China Wednesday night to observe the construction of steel box girder beams for the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge.
Muiz told reporters at the airport that he would “watch the fabrication work at the factory, seek detailed information, meet with engineers, and see how the work is going.”
Three 50-meter-long fully manufactured box girders will be brought over by the end of December and installed in the span between each of the four pillars of the bridge, he explained with a chart drawing.
Launched in December 2015 with a concessional loan and grant aid from the Chinese government, the US$200 million bridge will connect the capital with the airport island and is expected to be completed by mid-2018. Work on the I-beams and superstructure began in July.
Muiz said at the time that the Chinese contractor was ahead of schedule. He told reporters last night that concrete work on the three V-pillars will be completed by October 20 and a 150-meter-long concrete deck on the Malé end will be done by November.
The 1.39km-long and 20.3m-wide bridge will have two lanes for four-wheeled vehicles as well as separate lanes for bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians. The bridge will span from Malé’s eastern edge to the western corner of the island of Hulhulé.
Reclamation of land to build a highway between the airport and Hulhumalé – an artificial island under development as an urban centre – meanwhile began Thursday morning.
According to the housing minister, the reclamation work will be complete in seven to 10 days. The highway construction is expected to be complete by April next year.
CMFB aa Hulhumale gulhuvaidhey highway hedhumah bin hikkun miadhu feshifai: 7-10 dhuvas therey hikkaa nimeyne. pic.twitter.com/HTNOdQ7dFR
— Dr.Mohamed Muizzu (@MMuizzu) September 28, 2017
Photos from housing ministry