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The Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) is going to handle the construction of the three incomplete road projects out of four that it received from the Israeli company, Tidhar Excavation and Earth Moving Ltd., which is under turmoil after being sued by the Federal Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (FEACC) on tax evasion and bribery.
AACRA, responsible for the construction and management of road facilities in the capital, has snatched four road construction projects from Tidhar. The company is short of capital needed to undertake the projects, as its assets were frozen last year after FEACC’s investigation revealed that the company’s owner gave 1.5 million birr bribe to three Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA) officers to have the company’s tax revised from 52.798 million birr to 6.115 million.
Fekadu Haile (Eng.), Director General of AACRA, told Capital that the authority’s task force will now undertake construction of three road projects, which are near completion. The authority has decided to finalize the projects, as most of the roads only require asphalt work before becoming operational.
AACRA will now undertake the construction of the 4.2km Sidist Kilo-Jan Meda-French Embassy-Gurara road, which stretches from the north of the city to north east. The other projects are the General Wingate to Pasteur and Pasteur to Abune Petros (Piazza); both roads require upgrading and once complete, will connect the heart of the city to the west.
The AACRA head added that the fourth project is road construction underway along the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AALRT), which will be awarded to contractors. He said that the local firms do not have the capacity to undertake such a project, thus the contract is likely to be awarded to foreign companies.
Tidhar had undertaken construction of two sections of the road that link the Ministry of Mines to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy. The 8.6km east-west road that stretches from Ministry of Mines to Tor Hayloch via Meskel Square is divided in five lots. The first three lots,Tor Hayloch-Meskel Square-Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, managed by the Chinese CRBC Addis Engineering, have already been finalized with some minor finishing pending.
Fekadu said that CRBC shall manage the rest of the work on the road project, but AACRA is yet to give a final decision on that. About 80 percent of the Ministry of Mines to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy road project is completed and is currently partially open for traffic.
He said that the road construction projects will re-commence as soon as possible, depending on rainfall. “We prefer to undertake the project in the dry season, so we may have to wait over the coming months,” he added.
The China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AALRT) contractor is expected to undertake the construction of the retaining wall at Megenagna, damaged by the company itselfduring the construction of the railway line. Fekadu said that the railway company has agreed to construct the retaining wall and is expected to undertake its construction in October.