Housing Development Corporation (HDC) announced Wednesday that the project to design and develop the link road to connect the airport island of Hulhule and reclaimed suburb Hulhumale will be awarded to Hunan Construction Engineering Group of China for USD 24 million (MVR 370 million).
The Hulhule-Hulhumale link road is in connection with the landmark overwater bridge currently being developed between Hulhule and capital Male. The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge and the link road are major development projects undertaken by the government to connect the capital, airport and suburb with land transportation. Currently, people of the greater Male region travel between the three islands via ferries.
According to an official of HDC, the four kilometre long link road will be developed at the same width as the bridge with four lanes. The official stated that development will commence very soon and is expected to be completed before the bridge.
“A part of Hulhule’s lagoon needs to be reclaim to construct the road. Some areas of the reclaimed land also need sheet piling and coastal reinforcement. Moreover, it includes laying the water pipe network and pavement.”
HDC had said in a statement released last February that the contractor is to bear all the costs of the link road project, which will be reimbursed by the government on a later date. The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure tasked HDC with the development of the highway to connect Hulhule and Hulhumale last year.
Speaking at the ceremony held last December 26 to award the project to HDC, Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Dr Mohamed Muizzu had stressed the importance of a causeway to link Hulhumale to Hulhule so that travellers from Male to Hulhule via the bridge may continue to the reclaimed suburb with ease. He had said that the Hulhule-Hulhumale link road will be completed by April 2018.
The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge spans from the southeast coast of Male to the southern end of Hulhule beyond the airport runway strip. The current causeway linking Hulhule and Hulhumale runs from Hulhule’s southern end to the eastern coast of Hulhumale. The new project will expand the current causeway and reinforce the new highway.