Road Links Gojjam to Wollo for the First Time

Published: Wednesday, 19 November 2014 Written by Fortune Sunday 16 November 2014 Page: 18

Two phase project is completed unveiling new 319Km road despite delays due to weather fluctuations
A new 319Km road, connecting Gojjam and Wollo for the first time was inaugurated yesterday, November 15, 2014. The road shortens the former road distance to the Port of Djibouti through Mille, with nearly half the area crossed getting its first road access.
The project was beset by characteristic problems. A recent report claimed Ethiopian government projects, including water, road and building projects were affecting it.
The report by the Construction Sector Transparency Institutive (CoST), of which Ethiopia and several other countries are members, was presented at the Elilly Hotel a few weeks ago. It indicated that the redesigning of projects after they had already been started was one of the main reasons accounting for Ethiopia spending more and taking longer to finish projects than other countries. The report raised concerns about “the feasibility and design stage, as well as the tender evaluation process and contract implementation” aspects of various projects examined in Ethiopia.
The Gojjam-Wello road project started as a gravel road to be completed in four years. However, the traffic flow in the area led to a redesigning into asphalt concrete, extending the project period to seven years, according to Dereje Hailu, Communication officer at the Authority. Other reasons for the delay of the project included weather fluctuations, claims Samson Wondemu, communications head of the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA).
The Komobolcha – Mekaneselam – Gindewoyne project was undertaken by the Chinese contractor, CGC Overseas Construction Group (CGCOC), with a joint consultancy by Li International Limited, a local firm, and Indian firm LEA Associates South Asia.
As Fortune went to print, the road was expected to be inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, in the presence of Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister of Transport, as well as parliament members and representatives from the city administrations. The total cost of the road project was 1.9 billion Br, paid for by the government.
The construction took place in two phases. The first phase saw the completion of 189Km of road extended from Kombolcha to Mekaneselam. The second phase comprised 139Km connecting Mekaneselam to Gidewoyne. It included a 260 metre high bridge, located 270Km from Komolcha town, which is expected to serve for the coming 60 years. The road also includes drainage pipes, bridges, and other structural works.
“The main advantage of the road is linking Gojjam, known for its crop production, and Wollo, a place designated for the industrial zone,” said Samson.
The road will link the road that currently extends from Addis Abeba to Mekelle, through Dessie, with the road from Addis Abeba to Bahir Dar, through Dejen and Mota. It will also cut the road distance by half from Dessie to Gojjam, avoiding the detour through Addis Abeba or Woldiya.
CGC Overseas has been operating in Ethiopia since 2003. It has completed five projects and is working on nine others, including a 220Km asphalt road from Dire Dawa to Dewalle. The Dire Dawa to Dewalle project will cost 3.99 billion Br in financing from the EX-IM bank of China.
The CGC Overseas completed projects include a 22Km asphalt road from Chole to Magna, the Dodola Junction to Goba road and the Dera to Gololcha Mechara road, all in the Oromia region.

This content is published on, Fortune Sunday 16 November 2014 Page: 18



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