The giant Chinese state owend enterprise, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd (CCECC), will construct a road extending from the outskirts of Dire Dawa to the recently built industrial park in the city for almost half a billion Birr.
Founded in 1979, the Chinese company, which also constructed the three billion Birr Dire Dawa Industrial Park and Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway, will build the 7.5Km long and 50m wide road from Melka Jebdu to Dire Dawa Industrial Park for 66.5 million Br a kilometre.
The road project will involve the construction of five bridges and drainage pipes, scheduled to be finalised in the next nine months.
"It will create a favourable environment to transport raw materials to industries with sheds in the industrial park," said Samson Wondimu, the communications director of the Authority. "The road, upon completion, will also encourage businesses to invest in the Park."
It is an extension of a road project built from Melka Jebdu to Dire Dawa with a cost of 63.5 million a kilometre, which was the most expensive project up until the beginning of this year. Melcon Construction, a grade one local contractor, is undertaking the construction.
CCECC won the contract to build the road as the government is preparing to inaugurate the Dire Dawa Industrial Park in the months ahead.
The Park will be involved in the manufacturing of textile and apparel as well as agro-processing. It is part of the government's plan to develop 17 similar parks in different regions of the country during the second edition of the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP).
The Chinese company signed the contract with the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) in conjunction with two more road projects awarded to China Railway Seventh Group, Zeleul Yohannes General Contractor and Bakora Trading.
Araya Girmay, director of the Authority, signed the agreement with the representatives of the three companies on December 26, 2017, at the premises of ERA located along Ras Abebe Aregay street.
Another Chinese-owned company, China Railway won an 86Km road project in Southern Nations & Nationalities People's regional state stretching from Sodo to Dinke. It agreed to construct the road for 17.9 million Br, costing an aggregate of 1.5 billion Br for the whole project.
The project is financed by a loan received from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government equally.
The road will link three zones: Sodo Sawla and Gamo Gofa, and six villages. Planned to be completed in four years, it will help farmers sell agricultural products such as beans, sorghum, peanuts and cassava, according to Samson.
On the other hand, Zeleul Yohannes and Bakora Trade were jointly awarded to construct a 5.3Km road project from Woldiya to Meqelle for 304 million Br.
Costing the Authority 57.3 million Br, the road will expedite trade interaction between the two towns which will also be connected to the railway.
All the signed projects are part of the Authority's plan to attain a 222,000Km road network in two years.
Over the past half-decade, the nation's road network doubled to 113,000Km. This year, the government has set aside 50 billion Br for these projects across the country.