Ages ago the only structure that would from time to time be visible are the vessels stranded temporary on the raalhugandu surf break in eastern side of Male City. This used to be the main cargo route for Maldives. “Gaadhoo kolu”, this channel was closed on Feb 20, 2016 by Ministry of transport as mentioned on PSM news to build the China- Maldives friendship bridge. The 2.1km long and 20.3 m wide bridge links Malé (Capital city of Maldives), Hulhulé (Velana international airport) island and reclaimed island Hulhumalé.
Let’s just take a look back. After the initial procedures the construction was started on 10 June 2016, mentioned by the Deputy Minister of Housing minister Abdulla Muthalib on Mihaaru news.
“The bridge has 7 primary piers. Each pier is made up of 35 pipes each having a diameter of 10 feet. Concrete pile foundations are stretched up to the main sea, with a depth between 70 to 230 feet under the seabed. Moreover, the piers are inter-connected with the support of a ‘superstructure’ that was brought in from China.” As mentioned on Maldives Business Review
After 811 days, on the 30 August 2018 construction of the bridge ended with the cost US$ 200 million and with the biggest fireworks the bridge was opened. Sinamale’ Bridge has been officially opened by the H. E President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the Chairman of the Chinese Development Corporation, Mr. Wang Xiaotao.
Originally this bridge was called China-Maldives Friendship Bridge due to funding received from the Chinese government. Initially it was said that this bridge has two car lanes and separate lanes for bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians but at operation, Sinamalé Bridge has one car lane and separate lane for motorcycles on either side, and pedestrians.
The Sinamalé Bridge was opened for public on 21 September 2018. Today a lot of us are enjoying and celebrating the convenience of traveling through a channel that no longer require waiting for busy dhoni ferries and rough seas.
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