A Chinese team of scientists is conducting a seismic survey of the ocean basin between capital Malé and the airport island for a planned bridge.
Male-Hulhule bridge update: Seismic imaging of the sea started today. pic.twitter.com/7snef3HEvX
— Dr.Mohamed Muizzu (@MMuizzu) May 17, 2015
Housing minister Dr Mohamed Muizzu last week said the bridge will run from Malé’s surf point, Raalhugandu, to the southwest corner of Hulhulé island’s airport runway.
The Chinese team is to drill 29 boreholes, 59 meters deep, in the ocean basin to see if it can hold the bridge’s foundation pillars.
Designs for the six-lane bridge is expected to be completed by the end of June this year, the government has announced.
China has previously said it would ‘favorably consider financing’ the bridge if the design proves feasible, while President Xi Jinping said he hoped the government would call the bridge “the China-Maldives friendship bridge”.
It is expected to cost between US$100million to US$150million.
Construction of the Malé–Hulhulé Bridge, first slated to begin in 2014, will now start by the end of this year, and will be completed within two years.
The bridge, a key campaign pledge of President Abdulla Yameen, will also connect Malé to its suburb Hulhumalé, an artificial island located behind Hulhulé and connected by a short causeway.
In March, 227 hectares of land were reclaimed in Hulhumalé for a planned ‘Youth City.’