HDC to build highway to link bridge with reclaimed suburb

Housing ministry Monday awarded the project to build highway to link the landmark airport bridge to the reclaimed suburb Hulhumale.

The landmark project to build a over-water bridge that would connect the capital Male to the Hulhumale and the airport island is currently ongoing.

The 3 km highway would accommodate vehicles from the airport to Hulhumale and Hulhumale Development Corporation (HDC) is required to complete the project by April 2018.

"As we build the bridge to connect the airport with Male, we also need a highway quality road to accommodate the vehicle headed to Hulhumale via the bridge. The current road would not suffice. We need to build a better road," housing minister Dr Mohamed Muizzu told reporters after signing the agreement with HDC.

HDC managing director Mohamed Simon said the concept design of the highway has already been completed and the company would seek out a contractor for the project soon.

The contractor would need to reclaim land and build a highway that could manage heavy traffic, Simon added.

"Hulhumale already has a population of around 40,000. That number would rise once the housing projects are completed. So its imperative that we build this highway to accommodate the large numbers of people that would use the bridge to get to Hulhumale," Simon explained.

The bridge dubbed China-Maldives Friendship bridge is being financed with USD126 million in grant aid and a concessionary loan from China along with USD12.6 million from the state budget.

The over water Male-Hulhumale Bridge will stretch out to 1.39 kilometers in length and 20 meters in width.