The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) signed contracts worth over 3.2 billion Br with Chinese and Ethiopian contractors on January 23, 2013, for the construction of six roads in four different regions.
The roads will be constructed in Amhara, Harari, Afar and the Southern regional state.
The Southern region will get a 108.3Km road, to be constructed in two sections. The first section, from Bonga to Felegeselam, is 51.8Km long and will be upgraded to asphalt by CGC Overseas Construction Group at a cost of 842.7 million Br. The 57.03Km long second section, from Felegeselam through Ameya to Cheda, will be upgraded by Zhongmei Engineering Group, for 834.6 million Br.
These constructions will shorten the total distance from Bonga to Cheda by 98.2Km. The road is expected to improve access of the region's produce, which includes; sugarcane, barley, wheat, honey and coffee, to markets in Jimma, Bonga, Metu, Mizan, Teppi and Cheda.
A consulting company for these two road projects, which are expected to be completed in three years time, is still under consideration by the ERA. The other projects have been awarded to local contractors.
Gemshu Beyene Construction Plc, a contractor that maintained the Dengego road along the Djibouti corridor, for the ERA two years ago, will undertake the upgrading to asphalt of a 52.3Km road from Azezo to Gorgora. It is estimated that it will take two and half years to complete, at a cost of 720 million Br. The company will also construct a new 20Km road in the Harari region for 360 million Br, to be completed within one and a half years.
A fourth contractor, Bridge Construction Plc, has been awarded a 45Km road from Yalo through Nehile to Abala, in the Afar region, for 233,861 million Br. This project, which will take two and a half years, will be consulted on by ICT Consultancy. The ERA is yet to select the consultants for the other projects.
The Ethiopian government will cover the full cost of these projects, which are a part of the fourth Road Sector Development Program (RSDP IV), which began in 2011.
The five year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) aims to increase federal and regional road network coverage from 54,000Km to 64,522Km by the end of the 2014/15 period.