Few development proposals have stirred as much controversy as the Bridge to Hulhumale. Supporters see it as a bridge to the future, while opponents see it as an unattainable dream. Let us examine some of the hottest debates.
The distance between Male and Hulhule is about 960 meters, land to land, and 860 meters, reef to reef. Compared to this the longest span in the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is about 1200 meters. The average depth of the Golden Gate channel is 120 meters. These figures would appear to suggest the bridge is technically feasible. However there are other issues to be solved such as the shortage of land to locate base structures. How the stream of traffic from the bridge will cross the runway safely is also a thorny issue.
When the idea of the bridge was first mooted the estimated cost was $30 million. In more recent estimates the cost has escalated to $60 million. It's likely that when detailed specifications are available the cost would jump over $100 million. (Golden Gate was constructed at a cost of $33 million in the 1930s. Its total length is twice the Hulhumale Bridge).
Opponents see the cost of the bridge as a burden that can never be recovered through toll. Supporters say all public infrastructure is not built on cost recovery basis. They cite examples such as regional airports, Male Sea Wall and island harbors. The strongest argument for the bridge is the relief it will bring to congestion in Male by opening up hundreds of thousands of square feet of housing area and parking space.
Let’s have your views on the controversy.