Land reclamation to develop the link road connecting the main airport island of Hulhule and reclaimed suburb Hulhumale will end this week, announced Housing Development Corporation (HDC) on Sunday.
Development of the four-kilometre long Hulhule-Hulhumale link road, which is connected to the landmark overwater China-Maldives Friendship Bridge currently being developed between Hulhule and capital Male, is awarded to Hunan Construction Engineering Group of China for USD 24 million (MVR 370 million).
Six hectares of land are being reclaimed to develop and expand the new highway that will link Hulhule and Hulhumale.
HDC’s Managing Director Mohamed Saiman proclaimed that land reclamation will conclude within this week, after which building of revetments will commence.
MD Saiman had previously highlighted that some development projects of Hulhumale face obstructions since flight routes of seaplanes, which travel to or from Velana Airport International (VIA), are directly above the island. Shedding light on the authorities’ decision to shift VIA’s water runway to solve the problem, he said, “After excavating the current [Hulhule-Hulhumale] causeway, we can expand the water runway for seaplane landings. Then seaplanes can go over the lagoon to land at Hulhule instead of flying over Hulhumale.”
The link road is to be developed at the same width as the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, with four lanes. 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.
HDC had earlier declared that the newly developed and reinforced four-lane link road will be completed in time for the bridge unveiling in July 2018.
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.