Ethiopia’s Addis Abeba-Adama Expressway Finally Open
Ethiopia’s first expressway, the 84.7Km long road from Addis Abeba to Adama, officially opens to traffic today, September 14, 2014, in the presence of Muktar Kedir, president of the Oromia Regional State, and Workeneh Gebeyehu, minister of Transport.
The expressway, which starts at Tulu Dimtu, 2.8km off the main road in Kality, links Dukem, Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) and Modjo, before reaching Adama. Of the expressway’s tollgates, Addis Abeba and Adama each have one, while the others are to be located at six interchanges.
The six-lane expressway was designed and built by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and consulted on by Beijing Expressway Supervision (BES) - a subsidiary of Beijing Enterprises Holdings Consultants - at a total cost of 11 billion Br. From the total cost, 25pc is covered by the Government of Ethiopia and the remaining 350 million dollars was obtained as a loan form the EX-IM Bank of China to be paid in 20 years.
The CCCC inked a deal with the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) in June 2009 and commenced the construction in April 2010. The road was finalised and inaugurated by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegne and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in May 2014.
The six lane expressway has seven toll stations to collect money from drivers, 48 gates on the toll road and three checkpoints to thwart cargo overloading on freight vehicles. Eight large bridges and 77 smaller ones are also part of the project. The road has eight tollbooths along with surveillance cameras, and includes lighting and fences throughout the entire 84.7km stretch.
The feasibility study of the road was made by a UK based firm, Scott Wilson Consulting, in 2007. The total width of the road is 31km and drivers should drive between 100 to 120km per hour.
The minimum price payable for the road is 50Br for small vehicles and big cars, including trucks, pay 70Br, according to an official from the Ethiopian Toll Roads Enterprise (ETRE).
The road is managed by the ETRE, a state-owned Enterprise. The Enterprise is accountable to the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and supervised in its operations by a board of directors. The Enterprise is headed by Hiwot Mosisa, the general manager, and has three directorates within it which are responsible for toll management, toll operation and engineering, as well as human resources. The establishment of the Enterprise is estimated to have cost 202 million Br.
The ETRE was established in July 2014 and has a total of 760 employees, who will enjoy a monthly salary scale 15pc higher than what the ERA pays its employees. The minimum salary an employee could be paid is 760 Br, while the highest could be 16,000 Br.
Under the Enterprise, there will be three teams under the Toll Operations & Engineering Department: Engineering procurement and contact management, road safety and security, and electro mechanical management.
The current two lane Addis Abeba-Adama road handles 19,000 to 20,000 vehicles daily, which is well above its capacity. The new expressway can handle 15,000 vehicles.