The Maldivian government will on Thursday unveil the Sinamalé Bridge, commonly known as the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, which links capital city Malé to Hulhule island where the main airport is located.
While the bridge is to open this Thursday, 30th August, the Housing Ministry has said that work on it is nearly complete. Lights lined across it were switched on, Monday night.
An estimated USD 210 million has been spent on developing the bridge, of which no less than 126 million is grant in aid from the Chinese government. The Maldivian government had spent 12 million.
Construction of the bridge is fully assigned to the China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd., the subsidiary of a construction enterprise owned by the Chinese state. This is the same company that built the 24-km ‘Penang Second Bridge’ in Malaysia. About a 1,000 of their employees have been active in the Maldives.
The project was President Abdulla Yameen’s key pledge during his campaign, and the government began seeking loan to finance its construction in 2013 and a year later Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed.
The project is widely considered to be the government's biggest accomplishment, with its supporters quick to site that President Yameen had brought to materialization a pledge that former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed had both spoken off.