By Our Staff Writer

ADDIS ABEBA – The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) on Thursday signed multi-billion road construction projects with ten companies, including four Chinese firms.

Local constrictors too got the part pie with the ministry signing with six companies for another six projects.

The construction projects are expected to cost 16.3 billion birr or less than half a billion USD.

The length of the roads is 724.05 kilometers in total and

The roads, expected to be constructed in every corners of the countrywill contribute a lot in facilitating socio-economic benefits to the local communities when completed, officials at the ministry said.

The Daily Monitor learnt that theprojects include in the deal areKelela-Akesta, Tenta-Wegeletena-kurba, Gore-Masha-Tepi, Morka-Mencha, Edo-Seko-Werka, Lare-Nignag-Jikao, Adishehu-Dila-Samre, Dengoro-Gingi-Mekabila, Omorate-Omo-Kangaten and Jigjiga-Tuli-Lowanja-Dulad-Samkub-Harmokale road.

Officials said some of them are part of government’s plan to upgrade the current gravel roads to asphalts.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Zhejiang Bayong Highway Engineering Co. Ltd, Hebei Construction Group Corporation Limited and Beijing Urban Construction Group will build the four road projects.

Li Zhiyuan, General Manager of CCECC Ethiopia, said that his company will construct a 103.26-km asphalt road project that is expected to be completed in three years.

The road project is expected to partially alleviate transportation problems in Somali regional state, located in the eastern part of the country.

“This road project starts from Jijiga, capital of Somali regional state to the Dire Dawa city. It’s a good corridor that links the Somali regional state with the rest of Ethiopia,” he told chinses news agency Xinhua. (Daily monitor)