The Roads Project

Image Gallery

JCB tricks in Kulhudhuffushi. Using the front bucket and the ditch bucket, the JCB is lifted off all four wheels and both stands. On small roads on Maldivian islands, operators use this method to get the JCB close to the walls to dig the channels. In the mean time, however, these tricks are displays of skill on the roadside. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


A little girl looks curiously at the JCB laying the cable junctions outside her home in Kulhudhuffushi, Maldives. She has been watching work take place outside her home all week. (photograph by Luke Heslop)


Excavating a cable trench along an old coral wall in Kulhudhuffushi. Graffiti along the bottom of the wall praising the local volleyball team. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


Bangladeshi workers lay the asphalt in G.A Vilingilli. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


Old asphalt barrels at the casting yard, Addu. In some islands these barrels are reused to make ramps up to the asphalt sorting bins. (photograph by Luke Heslop)


Another child interested in the excavator as it carves the channels to lay the pipes that will replace the current lines to their parent’s homes and shops. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


An island road in G.A Villingili, freshly sprayed with MC-30 asphalt primer. The challenge now is to stop people walking and riding over it while they wait for it to dry. PVC pipes are used, albeit with varying degrees of success, to block off the road while it dries. The spray fills the air, bitters your mouth and hardens your clothes. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


Bangladeshi worker blowing the sand off the road in front of a coral house with an air compressor before the MC-30 primer is sprayed. These roads have been swept in advance.Dust in fills the air before the chemicals are sprayed.  (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


Loading the stones on to the truck from the dhoni. 100 tons of 6.14mm stones, referred to as ‘chips’, from Kudahudoo. To be mixed with tar, aggregate, and quarry dust, and used to make 300m of road in Villingili. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


Sweeping sand on a coralline island is no easy task. Before the dust blower comes out, teams of Bangladeshi labourers and a few Sri Lankans systematically sweep the roads before the primer is applied. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


A typical ‘undeveloped’ street on a Maldivian island. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)


A dark cloud over the Laamu link-road, from Fonadhoo to Gan. Completed in 2016 this road is yet to receive the official opening. It was built by the Chinese construction company, J-TEG (Jiangsu Transportation Engineering Group) and paid for by the Chinese government.(Photograph by Luke Heslop)


Birds eye view on a busy street in Malé, a city so congested that when the traffic stops, so too must the pedestrians. (Photograph by Luke Heslop)