Thila-male' Bridge work ongoing at accelerated pace

Thilamale' Bridge construction work is ongoing in full gear.

On Tuesday, journalists were shown in detail how the mega-project linking Male', Villimale', Thilafushi, and Gulhifalhi was being carried out.

Journalists were first taken to the Male' City industrial area, where construction work is ongoing from Male' side. The installation of pillars is ongoing, and two pillars have been fully installed.

Journalists were next taken to Gulhifalhu, where the press were shown how the bridge docking was being constructed. The concrete testing labs in Gulhifalhu and the sea were also shown.

Twelve large casts are being used for the construction of the bridge docks. The casts are used around the clock to complete the work at an accelerated pace.

A lot of machinery used for bridge construction are in Gulhifalhu. The accommodation areas for foreign laborers are also based in Gulhifalhu.

The Thilamale' Bridge Project's Project Manager, Mohamed Jinan, told reporters that the pilings that are currently being installed on the seabed are different from the pillars of the bridge. These pilings are steel pipes used to facilitate the pouring of concrete on the pillars, he said. All such pilings have been installed at the bottom of the sea, he said.

"As we said before, we will complete the work up to our target for December by then," Jinan explained.

The agreement was signed between the Maldives government and India's AFCONS Infrastructure to build the ThilaMale' Bridge on August 26, 2021. The construction of the bridge officially began on August 22, 2022. AFCONS is the same company that is undertaking the Addu City Road Development project and is well known in the international arena as a bridge and harbor construction company.

The bridge project is funded by a $100 million grant and a $400 million loan from the Indian government. The Indian Embassy in the Maldives said the $400 million is part of an $800 million credit line from India's EXIM Bank. Unlike loans, credit lines are debts that can be extended with or without payment if the government requires them.

India has also provided an additional $15 million (approximately MVR 231.3 million) in free aid for the bridge project.

The Thilamale' Bridge will be 6.695 km long and will include a bridge and causeway.

The Greater Male' Connectivity Project will connect Male', Villimale', Thilafushi, and Gulhifalhu. The islands being linked via a bridge would bring many benefits to the economy and conveniences for businesses and the general public.