Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has awarded a 4.8 billion Br project to four companies, one local and three foreign, and subsequently signed a contract on March 21, 2015.
Two of them are in the Amhara regional state whereas the remaining two are in the Oromia and Southern regional states.
Three of the projects will be fully financed by the Ethiopian government and the other will be financed in collaboration with the Arab Bank for Development in Africa and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
Of these, a 1.3 billion Br road project of 60 Km from Ataye to Mhal Meda (Northern Shoa, Amhara) was awarded to a local company called Yencomad Construction Plc, which has a history of constructing asphalt roads, including a 134Km road that linked Mojo to Debre Berhan.
The new project will connect two separate roads that have already been constructed, enabling vehicles coming from Tigray regional state to travel to Mahal Meda and then to Alem Ketema, instead of passing via the usual road of Debre Berhan, according to the statement by ERA.
The second project is Sodo-Omo road project, which was awarded to China Hunan Hunda Road & Bridge Corporation at a cost of 1.3 billion Br.
The road will have a seven-metre width in rural areas and a 19 metre-width in urban parts. The construction company has agreed to finalise the project within three years and five months, reads the statement.
This road needs to be constructed because the gravel road which is currently used at the location will be overflooded by Gilegl Gibe III dam project when the construction of the dam is finalised.
This project, part of the 75.7 Km Sodo-Terch road, is expected to be awarded soon.
The third project, in the Oromia regional state, will upgrade the 57.5 Km road from Arberkti to Gelamso to asphalt. It involves six new bridges and will have a 10-metre width in urban areas and 14-metre width in rural areas, according to the statement.
The asphalt road has been awarded to Al Asab General Transport & Constructing Establishment, a company from United Arab Emirate (UAE) at 1.01 billion Br.
The cost will be covered by the Ethiopian government in collaboration with The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and OFID. The project is expected to be completed in three years, facilitating the trade of coffee and Khat in the area.
The fourth project, which will take three years, is the 83-Km road from Zema River Bridge to Felege Selam, which involves upgrading the road over the bridge from a gravel road to asphalt concrete. The 1.13 billion Br award has been given to the Chinese company, China Railway Sevens Group.
It is expected to reach its final touch within three years. After completion, it is hoped to increase the tourist flow of the area and the trade volume of agricultural products, such as teff.
The projects, for which consultants are yet to be selected, are part of the ERA’s fourth Road Sector Development Programme (RSDP).
The contracts were signed by Sisay Bekele, acting director general of ERA, Yemeru Nega, manager of Yencomand Construction and representative of the remaining foreign companies, at the premises of the ERA’s headquarters, located near Mexico Square on Ras Abebe Aregay Street.