The Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) revealed that it has spent in excess of 9.67 billion birr over the last 21 years to construct and maintain roads.
The period covers the entire time the EPRDF has been in power.
Out of this a paltry 358 million birr came from the Federal Road Fund and 440 million birr came from foreign governments through loans or aid. Most of the money, 8.9 billion birr was funded by the Addis Ababa city Administration.
Over the last 21 years, AACRA constructed 442Km of arterial Asphalt roads, 828Km of gravel roads and 698 Km of pedestrian roads. They also designed 462Km of roads while constructing 103 bridges.
Even though paving streets with cobblestones is new to the country over the past four years, an impressive 227Km has been constructed.
They have also worked on infrastructure which has meant 3,730Km of seven meter wide roads, more than double of what was before.
Addis Ababa’s road coverage has increased to 13.7 percent from 5.52 percent in 1991. Addis Ababa envisions 20 percent road coverage in eight years.
AACRA said it had constructed about 38 arterial roads over the two decades. In addition, while creating job opportunities for 13 major and 20 small and medium sized road contractors, it also employed 34,000 cobblestone producers and layers, more than a thousand medium level professionals and a similar number of high level professionals.
Fekade Haile (Eng.), General Manager of AACRA however said there were some setbacks with the road construction saying they still want to improve the quality and follow up the city’s roads.
“One of the problems we’re facing, particularly regarding local road contractors, is the issue of capacity, which makes us reluctant to award a particular construction company more than two kilometers in order to speed up construction work,” said Fekadu.
But he added that other factors such as problems with hazardous materials entering into the city’s drainage and sewage system, problems of road border demarcation, financing issues and interchanging designs also played a role in inhibiting the city’s road construction work and targets.
Addis Ababa which is currently celebrating its 125th founding date had its first road construction project in the early 1900s with the construction of the Addis Ababa-Addis Alem-British Embassy road construction project.
However, it was not until the start of the 1920s that cars entered the city’s transportation scene.