Malé, Maldives – Concrete work of the test pile for the Thila-Malé Connectivity Bridge project has started.
The Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure said the final works are underway before the work of the permanent pillars can begin.
The Planning Ministry said in a tweet today that the concrete work of test pile TPO1 has started. Two floating batching plants are being used for the project, the ministry said in a tweet.
A major area of the industrial village was closed and the bridge’s most important survey began last January. The technical survey, which began at that time, is to assess the strength of the soil.
Project Manager Mohammed Jinan, who is in charge of the project, told local media the first concrete work will be done on the sea pillar on the Malé side. One more such pillar is scheduled to be constructed in Villimale and Gulheefalhu as well. The next step is to concrete the pillar, he told.
According to the ministry, once the test piling of the two pillars is completed, the permanent pillars will be installed. The test piling work is currently underway to finalize the design of the pillars.
The Malé-Thilafushi bridge, which has also been dubbed ThilaMalé Bridge will connect Malé, Villingili, Gulheefalhu and Thilafushi, essentially becoming the largest area connected by land in the Maldives.
The project is contracted to Indian company AFCONS and was officially inaugurated by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on August 2.
The 6.7 kilometer bridge includes three bridges with two roads and interchange points as well as parking areas. AFCONS stated that the Malé-Villimalé section of the bridge will be completed by mid 2023, while the Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi sections will conclude towards the end of 2023.
USD 500 million (MVR 7.7 billion) will be spent on this bridge, which is funded by a USD 400 million line of credit extended by India-owned Exim Bank, and another USD 100 million as free aid from India.
India has engaged in 7 major infrastructure projects in the country under $ 800 million Line of Credit–and these include Water and Sewerage network for 34 islands, Addu Roads and Reclamation project, Gulhifalhu Port, (expansion of facilities of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company, Cricket Stadium in Hulhumale, Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion and Cancer Hospital in Hulhumale.