The government has begun making preparations to extend the Sinamalé Bridge maintenance contract with China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).
CCCC has been the maintenance contractor of the Sinamalé Bridge since its official opening in 2018 during former President Abdulla Yameen’s administration. However, the company’s contract expired sometime in late 2022.
Akram Kamaluddin, the Minister of State at the Ministry of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure, said that officials from the CCCC came to the Maldives to conduct a survey before renewing the contract. He also said the government has begun drafting the contract agreement, which will be formally signed soon.
Even though the contract expired, CCCC has continued maintenance work on the bridge with assistance from the ministry.
"Major repairs are carried out by the CCCC. We are looking into how China can assist us [with the bridge]", Kamaluddin said.
Recently, Velidhoo MP Mohamed Abdull Shafeeq shared a photo that shows a letter on the bridge’s nameplate that was displaced. The name is written on a metallic arc at the bridge’s entry and exit points in Malé City. The member inquired about the party responsible for fixing these issues.
In response, Kamaluddin asserted that the ministry is primarily responsible for nameplate repairs. The CCCC is contracted to make such repairs in case the ministry is unable to do so, he added.
The state minister also said that bridge maintenance was not done effectively because of how the ministry was assigned responsibilities.
"Some of the lights on the bridge malfunctioned during the opening phase. We are attending to those as well," Kamaluddin said.
The Sinamalé Bridge, which connects Malé City with Hulhulé and Hulhumalé, was constructed for an approximate project cost of USD 200 million. The Chinese government extended USD 116 million out of the total project cost in grants, with another USD 72 million given as a loan. Additionally, the Maldives government spent USD 12 million on the project as well.