The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has planned in short and medium term constructions of road infrastructures in the country which upgrades from 3,542 to 14,632 kilo meters in the first Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII). It aimed to increase 761 kms in the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII). Besides, it has planned to modernize the road infrastructure of the country in the coming 20 years. Those roads being constructed by the ERA are both in towns and cities and border crossing country roads in different time taking and quality levels ranges.
The Ethiopian Road Authority Communication Directorate Director, Team Leader DerejeHailu told The Ethiopian Heraldthat those road projects which have been finished upon the contracted periods include Gonder – Dasha - Humera, Azezo –Ginet - Metema, Assosa – Sherkolea – Blue Nile - Guba, Assosa – Kurmuk, Harer- Giggia- Togochalea, and Shera – Hadigoshu – Lugedy, Gambela-Etang-Jikawo, Hawassa –Chiko, Hageremariyam - Yabelo - Mega and Milea-Logiyasemera – Djibouti.
In addition, Mega-Moyale, Yirgachefea-Hageremariyam, Chiko-Yirgachefea, Mizan-Dema-rade, Oyeto-Turmee-Omoratea-Nameturaze, Hawassa-Chiko roads construction agreement was signed with contractors and their construction will be commenced soon.
Upon completion, the roads will be expected to solve the socio-economic problem of remote villages and will connect more places of the country, according to him.
Dereje insisted that border crossing roads would connect East African countries. For instance, Mizan-Dema-Rad will connectEthiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti.
Both local and border crossing roads have been constructed by domestic and foreign contractors through the budget allocated by the Ethiopian government.
The Budget was gained as long term loanand grant form from African development bank and World Bank. The Team Leader underlined that the have been constructed in concrete and asphalt level.
The roads being constructed within the country cover different distance. For example, Gonder-Dasha-Humera covers 244kilo meters which would connect Ethiopia and Sudan. The contractors of this road are Sur and Hunan hudaconstruction companies. Moreover, Azezo-Gent-Metemawhich covers 185kilo has been completed. The contractors of this project were BKS and BEZA contractors. The budget was allocated from the Ethiopian government, Areb bank and Saudi fund. This connects the Trans African Highway and northern part of the country.
Assosa–Sherkolea–Blue Nile–Guba covers 135kilo meters being constructed byMushelParkshel& CWC and WSP & AES contractors have beencompleted through the finace gained from the Ethiopain government and the World Bank. This road will connect the south-western part of the country.
The Assosa-Kumruk covers 96.6kilo meters that was budgeted by Ethiopian government, Areb Bank and Saudi fund. This links Ethiopia with Sudan in Addis Ababa-Nekemetea-Assosa-Kumruk.
The other one, Shera– Hadigoshu–Lugedy also covers 313 kilo meters that has yet budgeted Ethiopian government and its construction operated by CGS over CS & Hunan Huda contractors. This would have great opportunity to connect Port Sudan with Humera.
According to the team leader, the Authority has finished preparation to set bids for 130 kilo meters express ways from Adama-Awashe-Meiesso- Djibouti roads which would connect neighboring countries to strengthen their cooperation.
Another project is Derea-Masha which is under construction by the Federal Government in SNNP state will cover 61.96 kilo meters. It was signed by local business group Orkide and consulted by Assosiyet Engineering.
The project will consume 780 million Birr and will be finished within 3 years. Upon completion, it will be expected to connect the stats zone of Kefa and Sheka with Gemmbo. Besides, projects like Zeway-Arseenegelea,-Hawassa Adama-Awashe, Addis Ababa-Wolekitea,andAwashe-Meiesso-Dire-Dawaare are already for bid.
ERA has been striving in constructing various road infrastructures. The infrastructure endeavors will have crucial impacts on the nation’s social, economic and political developments. Roads would have huge impact in transporting foreign trade because commodities which are used for import and export sector are nothing without transportation. Moreover, roads infrastructure could also play pivotal role in transforming the tourism sector of the country.
ERA has constructed 14632kilo meters roads over the last 26 years. Most of them were built in concrete and asphalt levels which helped the nation to be register rapid double digit economic growth. Realizing the need of infrastructure for the economy, Ethiopia is constructing several road projects. Thus, the nation would have modern and upgraded road infrastructure at the end of the second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTPII).
BY MUSSA MUHAMMED