Expressway Fully Equipped with Truck Weight Sensors


The road was previously operating with only five weight sensors




The Ethiopian Toll Road Enterprise, the operator of Addis-Adama Expressway, installed 19 weigh-in-motion sensors that will detect overloads throughout the expressway entrances.

Since its launch in 2014, enterprise  one of 13 state-owned enterprises operating under the Ministry of Transport, has been operating with five weight sensors, of which two are portable sensors. China Communications Construction Company, the company that built the expressway with 11.2 billion Br, has installed the checkpoints.

China Communications has an agreement to maintain and install any additional service at its own cost, according to Robel Ayalew, senior public relations officer at the enterprise. The enterprises generated 244.8 million Br last fiscal year from toll fares, advertising and other miscellaneous income.

“The system will enable us to increase the control and record the axle weights and gross vehicle weights,” said Robel.

The overload sensor checkpoints at the gates are used to prohibit the entrance of vehicles with an overload of 20tns unless they have a special permit. Trucks with overloads are not allowed to enter the expressway with a rationale that they cause damage to the road, which will increase the cost of road maintenance. The Enterprise also asserts that overload can cause traffic accidents.

In the recently ended fiscal year, the enterprises maintained 61Kms of the total 84.7Km road. The government of Ethiopia has covered 43pc of the total cost of the project, while the Chinese EXIM Bank financed the balance in a loan arrangement. The 31m wide, six-lane toll road took five years to complete. It operates with 600 permanent and temporary employees.

“The truck’s overload is measured based on the total axle load,” Robel said. “The maximum load the trucks can have over their axle is limited to four tones.”

To fine drivers coming with the loads over the limit, the enterprise has drafted a directive that sets the value of fines and modalities. The draft directive is tabled at the Ministry of Transport for approval. The Ministry has called upon the Ethiopian Road Authority and the Enterprise and Federal Transport Authority to discuss the directive, sources close to the case disclosed to Fortune.

Beyond enforcement, the drivers should act responsibly, according to Fekadu Gurmessa (PhD), a transport geography lecturer at Addis Abeba University for more than a decade.

The expressway has seven toll plazas to collect money from the drivers. Last year it served a total of 7.8 million vehicles. It is expected to serve the nation for two decades.



By BEHAILU AYELE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Aug 11,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 954]


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