New road will cut travel time by two thirds
The six-lane expressway connecting Addis Ababa and Adama, located southeast of the capital, will be finished in April, following more than three years of construction.
The $612 million expressway is designed to reduce traffic congestion and will cut travel time between the two cities from the current two hours to an estimated 40 minutes. The expressway will run parallel to the existing Addis Ababa-Adama road which is noted for its traffic jams and frequent accidents.
The new expressway is also the country's first toll road, although the rates are not yet known. The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) said that the rates will be announced in the coming weeks, and the toll will depend on the travel distance and type of vehicle. There will be a toll gate at both Addis Ababa and Adama, as well as six others along the 80-km route, which will be fully lit at night.
The toll road will have exits at every town along the way, with interchange roads at Akaki Bishoftu, Dukem and Mojdo.
The project's designer and contractor, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), began construction of the expressway in April 2010 but was stalled for a number of months that year over compensation claims from residents displaced by the scheme.
The Chinese Export and Import (EXIM) Bank granted a 20-year, $350 million loan for the project while the remaining costs are being financed by the Ethiopian government.