The first modern cross-sea bridge in Maldives, built by a Chinese company, was put into operation on August 30, and is expected to add to the local transportation network and bring more convenience to the community.
The first cross-sea bridge in Maldives is completed in late August. [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
Maldives is composed of more than 1,200 coral islands. Anita, a native, said she had to take a ship to commute between two islands every day, which made her feel unsafe in bad weather.
"The bridge is finally completed. I can't wait to take a walk on the bridge," she said.
The bridge, built by China Communications Construction Co Ltd, a state-owned transportation infrastructure group, stretches for 2 kilometers to connect Male Island with the Hulhule Island. It has a service life of 100 years.
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom attends the opening ceremony of the bridge. [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
The bridge adopts Chinese standards, norms, technology and management, and fully considers the integration of Chinese and Maldives cultures. The arched structure of the main bridge reflects the classic elements of traditional Chinese bridges; the three V-shaped piers are like flying seagulls, blending with the local marine environment, and the head of the bridge integrates Islamic architectural elements such as domes and arches.
Transportation between the islands mainly relies on ships and seaplanes. The bridge can help ease the traffic tension in the capital city.
Firework performance to celebrate the opening of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
Cheng Duoyun, general engineer of the bridge, said they had to solve many technical challenges during construction, such as the reef geology, high temperature and salt corrosion from deep sea operations.
The limited construction time, space and material supplies, as well as requirements for environmental protection posed more challenges, he added.
Panorama of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
Despite difficulties, the construction was completed within 33 months, showing the strength of Chinese technology and efficiency.
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom said the bridge is a milestone of Maldives-China friendship.