ERA to Inaugurate 69Km Road at One Billion Birr Cost


The road, funded by the government, is an important addition to the total road network, expected to reach 136,044Km in 2015




The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) is to inaugurate a 69-Km road at a cost of one billion Birr – to be covered by the Ethiopian government – in early May 2015.

This project, which connects Mytsebri and Shire, is part of the Zarima-Adiarkay-Shire road-upgrading project. The road connects Amhara Regional State with Tigray.

Sheladia Associates Inc, Ethio Infra Engineering Plc, and Hi-tech Engineering Plc undertook consultancy and contract supervision of the project which was built on two contracts, with contract two being the completed one.

In 2011 the contract was awarded to the Ethiopian Roads Construction Corporation (ERCC) to complete upgrading the road to asphalt concrete level within a three-year period; but in light of the topographic challenges of constructing the road, an additional eight months was given, according to Tiumay Woldegebriel, public relations officer at ERA.

On January 2015, ERCC completed the road, which took almost four years. On average, it cost 14.5 million Birr per kilometre, which is 2.5 million Birr higher than the average rate of 12 million Birr per kilometre calculated by the World Bank (WB).

But according to ERCC’s website, the same project, which was described as a 68.3Km road, began in 2009 and was scheduled for completion in 2012 with an original contract price of 747.4 million Br.

The road has a width of seven meters in rural towns and 10 metres up to 19 metres width in urban areas; it includes pavements and separation of two lanes. A 10.8Km drainage system is also part of the project, which involved the construction of about 250 minor and three major drains.

Of the total length of the project, 26Km of it covers the temperate and desert area along the Tekeze River.

Contract one, which extends from Zarima to Mytsebriat, cost 912 million Birr and covers 70Km, has reached 90pc completion, said Tiumay. Work began at the same time as contract two but got behind schedule due to terrain challenges, which created obstacles for the transportation of different machinery to the site. Contract one is expected to be completed in June 2015.

Those roads were first built during the Italian occupation and are known for their very unstable topography.

A road from Debark to Zarima (Lima Limo pass), which will be connected with these two projects, is currently in the pipeline

When these projects are completed, they are expected to reduce total travel time from Gonder to Shire from eight hours to three hours. Moreover, the completion of these projects will benefit the transportation flow to Wolikayt Sugar Development Project, which is currently under construction along the Zarima River.

In 2014, the total road coverage of Ethiopia at the national level had reached 100,000Km, of which 80pc was gravel and located in rural areas. From June 2010 to June 2013, the ERA constructed 13,036Km of all kinds of roads at both the federal and regional levels. In 1997, the total road coverage of the country was estimated to be 25,500Km.

The ERA expects the total road network in the country to reach 136,044Km in 2015, from the 48,793Km coverage it had in 2010.

Inauguration of the road was initially scheduled for May 1, 2015 but it was rescheduled.



By DAWIT ENDESHAW
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on May 4, 2015 [ Vol 16 ,No 783]


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