Idge refreshes Maldivian life
The bridge has also generated new job opportunities for Maldivians.
There were no traffic lights and few traffic police in Male before the construction of the bridge. Now, traffic lights have been installed at both ends and there are bridge traffic police.
Traffic police officer Aleena has been working on the China-maldives Friendship Bridge for eight months. She said, “When I first started on the bridge, I felt that many young people didn’t pay much attention to traffic lights. Now they are very disciplined.”
Yoosuf Rafeeu, previously a taxi driver, became a double-decker bus driver after the Maldivian government opened the Greater Male Bus Terminal (GMBT) last year.
“There are 23 buses in the GMBT, eight of which are double-decker buses. I am proud to be a rare double-decker bus driver in the Maldives,” he said.
Bridge engineer Mohamed Shafeeu studied civil engineering in Malaysia and has worked in the ports and terminals of the Maldives. In 2017, he became responsible for the quality management of the bridge after joining a relevant government department.
“Compared with the port and dock projects, the construction of this bridge is more difficult. The engineers in China are very dedicated, and their hard work allows us to enjoy a happy crossisland life,” he said.
Construction of the bridge was first agreed upon by China and the Maldives in September 2014. Ground was officially broken in March 2016 and the bridge was completed in July 2018.
As part of the agreement, the project, which was built at a cost of 1.26 billion yuan ($184.44 million), was largely funded by China through direct aid and discounted loans to the Maldives.
The Maldivian government shouldered the balance, according to a statement from the contractor, CCCC Second Harbor Engineering Company, a unit of the China Communications Construction Company.