Housing Minister Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has on Tuesday revealed that approximately USD 210 million will be spent on the Male’-Hulhule bridge.
Answering questions posed by opposition MPs during Tuesday’s parliament sitting Muizzu said, 191 million out of the estimated USD 210 million will be spent on construction work, while about 12 million will be spent on design work. According to the Minister, this is the lowest possible cost for the project.
Providing details of ongoing work related to the project, Muizzu said, 9 out of 20 pipes required to build the platforms required for the bridge have been laid and work on the 10th one will begin today. He added that work on the main pipes will begin, after installing the platforms next week.
Muizzu said that as some of the work began ahead of schedule, government is aiming to open the bridge on 2018's Independence Day (July 26) – 2 months ahead of the previously set date. He also said that housing ministry is closely monitoring the work, which he said, is being carried out in accordance with international safety standards.
Noting that the bridge is President Yameen’s key pledge, he said that despite obstructions from the opposition, government will continue the project and complete it on time.
Muizzu further revealed that plans are underway to assign the Hulhule-Hulhumale link road project this year, in order to ensure that the two projects complete at the same time.
Although the bridge project has faced strong criticism from surfing community, during today’s parliament sitting, Muizzu assured that the surf area, which is closed at the moment, will not be damaged and read out a section of the EIA report to back his statement. And while part of the surf area has been reclaimed for the project, the Minister said, it was temporary and that once the bridge opens, there will be no hindrance to surfers.
The “China Maldives Friendship Bridge” will be 2km long and 20.3m wide. Chinese government has agreed to provide USD 126 million dollars for the project as grant-in-aid. The Project is being carried out by China’s CCCC Second Harbour Engineering Company.