Toll road may expand to Addis

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Adama expressway earning 350,000 birr per day

The Adama Toll Roadís success, may lead the Ministry of Transport to expanding the toll road to the capital city.

The nationís first toll road has been earning an average of 350,000 birr per day so it is possible that an under-construction two lane link road will be used to expand the toll-way.  

Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister of Transport who is responsible for overseeing the nationís transportation system, said that the government is interested in implementing the toll road scheme for the newly constructed road that will connect the first toll way in the country with Addis Ababa.

The Addis-Adama toll motorway phase II Lebu-Akaki-IT Park (Goro) outer ring road that has a total length of 28.45km with a 60 meter width and 12 lanes will be partially open to traffic before the end of this budget year. In the first phase, the road will be constructed with six lanes on both sides.

The minister said that these kinds of roads are being constructed with huge investments and loans. The upside is that they dramatically improve traffic flow while at the same time requiring a small contribution from the public for their use.

He told Capital that the government is undertaking the study to see about possibilities of including the current road project with the toll way system.

ìToll roads are being used in other countries and we want to expand them here,î Workneh said.

During his visit at the site around Lebu, the minister mentioned the issue to representatives of the contractor China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), who also worked on the design, to give their comments about making the project a toll road.

Zhou Yongsheng, representative of CCCC, also stated that this road can be a toll way with minor improvements in the construction.

Hiwot Mosisa (Eng), head of the recently formed Ethiopian Toll Roads Enterprise (ETRE), which controls the toll way activity, told Capital that to include the 28 km road in the toll way system is possible.

ìThe road should be constructed like an express way, in terms of quality standards, operation and safety. A detailed study is indispensable to make it an express way,î she added.

ìThis road is not like the Addis-Adama road, it is in the city so the traffic flow is different and it would need traffic lights and some other features,î Hiwot said.

ìThe study will look at these and other related points,î the enterprise head said.

Up to now, 27 percent of the contract period has passed and 27.5 percent of the project has been undertaken within six months. Even though the project is expected to be completed within 33 months based on the contract, the government wants the company to finish before the stated period.

During his visit the minister stressed that the company has to work 24 hours a day to finalize the project as soon as possible. The company officials have promised to finish the road before the contract period.

The company is currently trying to address issues like ëright of way,í on the road. The contractor stated that this project will feature a frontage road on both sides with a width of 31.6 meters, including three interchanges at Lebu, Akaki and Tulu Dimtu, also with a full width area from Akaki to Tulu Dimtu.

The Akaki-IT Park road project that will connect the express way with the northern and northeastern part of the city will cover 14.5km, while the 13.6km Akaki-Lebu project will connect the Addis-Adama toll road with the western and south-western parts of Addis.

The road will minimize traffic jams on the Akaki-Kaliti road. It will be run by the Addis Ababa City Roads Authority.

Seventy Five percent of the funding came as a loan from Chinese EXIM bank. The entire endeavor will cost 4.6 billion birr.

Samson Wendemu, Public Relation head of the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), told Capital that the company is expected to open one side of the road for traffic before the end of this year.

If it becomes a toll road, it will be the first payment road in the country, traveling though just one city.

In the beginning of this Ethiopian year the country opened the 84.6km express way for traffic. The road that links Addis Ababa to Adama (Nazareth) was constructed with 11.2 billion birr. Currently, on average over 9,000 vehicles use this road every day.

Even though the 78km express way that was constructed by the Chinese CCCC was officially inaugurated by PM Hailemariam Desalegn and his Chinese counterpart in early May, it opened for traffic in September.

The enterprise head said that the road will generate from 300,000 to 350,000 birr per day.

Currently ERA, which is responsible for controlling federal roads, is working to expand the expressway to Hawassa (Awassa) and Awash?