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Bad weather hinders Maldives' landmark bridge project

Mohamed Visham
10 July 2016, MVT 14:38
An aerial view of the temporary platform constructed for the landmark China-Maldives friendship bridge. MIHAARU FILE PHOTO
Mohamed Visham
10 July 2016, MVT 14:38

Bad weather, strong currents and unpredictable tidal swells have hindered the ongoing landmark bridge project to link the capital to the reclaimed suburb Hulhumale, an official revealed Sunday.

A housing ministry official told Mihaaru on Sunday that the present southwest monsoon has made the difficult task of drilling the underwater steel pipes even more arduous.

The southwest monsoon in Maldives, named "Halhangu" in local language Dhivehi often starts around May and reaches its peak around July and August.

"The current is reportedly at 6-7 knots at most times. So it makes drilling the pipes really difficult. The contractor had real trouble even last week," official said.

The meteorology department confirmed that the weather is expected to worsen in the next few weeks.

The bridge dubbed China-Maldives Friendship bridge is being financed with USD126 million in grant aid and a concessionary loan from China along with USD12.6 million from the Maldivian state budget, government had said earlier.

The over water Male-Hulhumale Bridge will stretch out to 1.39 kilometers in length and 20 meters in width.

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