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Local Construction Of 360m Br Harar-Jijiga Road Begins

Published on: Tue, 2013-11-12 00:00

The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has announced the commencement of the construction of a 20km road flanking the old city of Harar to Jijiga.

The project, awarded to Gemshu Beyene Construction Plc – a grade one contractor - for 360 million Br, started on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. Enyi Construction had placed a bid against Gemshu for this construction. The consultant for the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) is Core Consulting Engineers Plc.

“The contractor has finished all of the preparations and has started the construction of the road,” Samson Wondimu, communication director at the ERA, said. “Based on the contract, we expect the completion of the road within two years.”

The need for the new 13m-wide road arose from problems seen in transportation within the city, as well as with passing traffic, according to Samson, since the existing Harar road is curvy and steep. In addition, Harar, located 526km from the capital, experiences traffic jams due to the current road’s narrowness and status as the main thoroughfare of the city.

The new road will encircle the ancient city – one of the main tourist destinations in the country and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2006 – and will, in essence, function as a ring road, according to Samson.

The project is part of the ERA’s fourth Road Sector Development Programme (RSDP), which aims to boost road coverage across the country.

In the performance report the Authority released on November 1, 2013 road coverage in Ethiopia was said to have reached 85,966km at the end of the last fiscal year. This shows an increase from the 26,550km that existed in 1997. Asphalt roads in particular, rose from 3,708km to 11,301km. So far, the ERA has spent 142.1 billion Br in total over the past 16 years of the programme.

The RSDP is now in its third year of the fourth phase, which started in 2010 and will run until 2015. The Authority has budgeted 30 billion Br for this fiscal year.

In line with one of the goals of the ERA during this phase – to raise the participation of local contractors and consultants in federal road projects – both companies involved in this project are local.

Contractors normally have three months from the official start of the project to mobilise resources, such as trucks, before starting construction. Gemshu has finalised all of those preparations already, however, and started the work, according to Gemshu Beyene, the general manager of the contracting company.

The company has previously worked on the 280km Dire Dawa to Dawale road, Afar gravel road maintenance and the 76.6km Bima to Matsberi asphalt road in Tigray regional state. Although road projects in the country have often been delayed, the contractor is confident it can complete its task in the agreed time.

“We are currently building an 86km asphalt road from Bima to Feyel Wuha in Tigray regional state, and a 47km road from Mehal Meda to Alem Ketam in Amhara regional state,” Gemshu said.

His firm will deliver its latest project on schedule, Gemshu insisted, as it has finished its previous projects on or ahead of time.
Source: Addis Fortune

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