Ethiopian Roads Authority has begun the construction of what it says will be a major expressway which, upon completion in five years, will help ease traffic that has been forecast for the next 21 years.
The country says in 21 years time the population would have increased significantly and that there was need to boost roads in urban areas. The construction of expressway in Ethiopia has been in the pipeline for years.
The Modjo-Hawassa Expressway in Ethiopia will have a million new trees flanking it on both sides.
Prime Minister Hailemraim Desalegn has already presided over the official launch of construction of the first four phases from Modjo to Meki, The entire project is estimated to cost 700 million dollars.
China Railway Engineering Corporation was awarded the contract to construct the expressway.
CREC was the largest construction company in the world in 2012, according to 2014 data compiled by Fortune Global 500. The African Development Bank (AfDB) will also help in financing the project.
Techniplan International Consulting, an Italian Engineering firm, designed the full length of the Expressway and reviewed by Ethio-Infra Engineering Plc, a local company.
Environmental & Social Impact Assessment document shows that the total number of households to be affected by the entire project is close to 3,457.
The Expressway, which is connected with the Addis-Adama Expressway, is also part of the 10,000km highway traversing the length of the continent from Cairo in the north, to Gaborone and Cape Town in southern Africa.
T he Expressway will be the first flagship project that will be implemented with financial support from both the US and China.
Ethiopia has been grappling with decades of dilapidated transport networks but has been working tirelessly to boost its infrastructure. For instance this year, it launched the first rail network system. The country is also constructing what will be the biggest hydro dam dubbed the Rennaisance Dam. With annual economic growth of 10%, Ethiopia is emerging to be the fastest growing country in Africa.