China OKs free maintenance work on Sinamale’ Bridge for three more years

Sinamale' Bridge. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

China has agreed to manage maintenance works on the Sinamale’ Bridge under a grant assistance program for an additional three years, says Maldives’ infrastructure Minister Dr. Abdulla Muthalib.

He made the announcement in an interview to state broadcaster PSM on Sunday night.

Muthalib said that the original contract signed between the PPM administration and China for free maintenance works on the bridge expired in 2020.

He said that after the contract expired, the MDP administration did no maintenance work, except to sweep and clean the bridge.

Muthalib said that the maintenance of the bridge must be taken more seriously. He said that failure to properly maintain the bridge has led the arch at the start of the bridge rusting over, with some of the letters falling off.

He also accused the former administration of failure to properly clean the bridge’s expansion joints, which he said requires regular maintenance.

Muthalib said that China had prepared a contract to extend the bridge maintenance deal, but the MDP administration did not sign the contract.

Muthalib said his ministry will sign the contract as soon as it receives necessary approvals from relevant authorities.

“We will sign it this week itself, if we receive thee approval. The maintenance works will begin once its signed,” he said.

Sinamale’ Bridge, which connects Male’ City with suburban Hulhumale’ and Hulhule’ – where the national airport is located, cost around USD 200 million to build.

It was inaugurated on August 30, 2018.