The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) officially launched the construction the Mojo-Hawassa toll road, part of the Addis Ababa-Nairobi-Mombasa highway corridor.
The first of the four-phase project, construction of the 56.8 km Mojo-Meki expressway, commenced on Thursday December 10 with a launching ceremony that boasted the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn’s attendance.
Once complete the road will have four laneways going in both directions, with a nine-meter median in the middle. The Mojo-Meki project, financed by the African Development Bank and public funds, will cost 3.67 billion birr and is expected to be complete within 42 months.
China Railway Seventh Group Co is leading the project, which will include different inter exchanges, huge bridges and pedestrian pass-overs. According to ERA, the project will link on the first expressway that link Addis to Adama.
The Meki-Batu (Zeway) road, financed by South Korean Export Import (EXIM) Bank, is the second phase of the project. A year ago the project had been awarded to Keangnam Enterprises, a Korean construction company engaged on several other projects in the country, but was later cancelled. According to Samson Wondimu, Public Relation Head of ERA, bidding for the construction of the road is currently in progress.
The third phase of the project, the Batu-Arisi Negele, project has also secured 7.5 billion birr of financing from the World Bank. The bid process for the 60.2km Batu-Arisi Negele road project will commence in three weeks time.
The final phase of the project that connects Arisi Negele to the capital of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNP) is also in the bid process.
The bid for the 55km Arisi Negele-Hawassa road, financed by the Chinese EXIM Bank, is expected to go to Chinese company. The 202km road that connects the southern capital to the center will go through12 towns with over one million inhabitants.