New bridge set to vastly improve road transport between Djibouti and Addis Ababa


(Posted 16th December 2014)

A new bridge across the Awash River was opened recently, making road transport for passenger busses and for cargo trucks considerably easier between the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and the seaport of Djibouti, which today is the lifeline for exports and imports for Ethiopia due to the closure of the Eritrean ports for Ethiopian businesses.

The new bridge will be able to carry higher loads and permit the simultaneous passing of trucks in either direction, compared to the old bridge, which will now undergo rehabilitation and remain as a crucial back up, where only one truck at a time could pass due to load restrictions.

Financed by the Japanese government and built by a Japanese contractor is the new bridge seen as a major investment to make the route to Djibouti by road safer for the over 2.000 vehicles which use this road, and the bridge, every day. While no price tag was available for the project has construction taken well over 2 ½ years to complete, a sign of the geographical challenges the contractor were faced with to complete the 145 metre long bridge and new access roads.

Japan has previously financed other similar projects in the past and is in a related development also financing the new bridge across the Nile River in Jinja, which will bring equal relief on this crucial traffic axis between the port of Mombasa, Uganda’s capital Kampala and the African hinterland countries like Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and to Eastern Congo.

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