Addis Ababa, December 25 (WIC) - The Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) is encouraged by the progress of Meskel Squre-Bole road upgrading project whose construction started in January 2012.
The project, which is approaching its first year, is originally scheduled to be completed in two and a half years. But the authority expects much of the project to be finalized ahead of its planned period.
“In light of the original project period, the overall progress is good,” Engineer Fikade Haile, general manager of AACRA, told WIC. “But, as part of a plan to promote the image of our country, we are pressing the contractor to finalize much of the project in time for the 50th anniversary of the African Union.”
The 50th anniversary of the African Union is scheduled to be marked in Addis Ababa in May 2013.
The construction of the 4.3km-long, 40-metre wide, road is carried out in five sections, from Meskel Square to Flamingo, Flamingo to Olympia, Olympia to Wollo Sefer, Wollo Sefer to the Rwandan Embassy, and from the Rwandan Embassy to Bole Roundabout. The road consists of two underpasses and an overpass.
In September 2012, ACCRA abandoned working on one lane at a time in a bid to allow the contractor, China Road & Bridge Corporation (CRBC), speed up the construction.
“We have to allow the contractor to operate freely in all the sections to speed up the construction,” Fekade said adding that the decision is also made as there will be no advantage working on one lane at a in the remaining sections. The only exception to this is the work on section one (Meskel Sq to Flamingo).
According to the general manager, the contractor will soon resume construction on section one with the work to be carried out one lane at a time as there are no available detours to Bole (Africa Avenue).
Fekade said the contractor will work on both lanes round-the-clock on section three (from Wollo Sefer to Rwandan Embassy). This work is similar to section two and includes and an underpass. Section 5 is expected to be open for traffic in a month, he said.
The construction of the 60 million USD Meskel Sqaure – Bole road rehabilitation project as well as other road projects currently underway in the capital has taken their toll on city dwellers. Cognizant of this and in a bid to mitigate the traffic congestion the authority is undertaking a traffic management study on Addis Ababa roads, according to the general manager.
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