Addis Light Rail Transit Project passes halfway mark

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Addis Ababa, 3 March 2014 (WIC) - Addis Ababa’s Electrified Light Rail Transit project has passed the halfway mark with 56 per cent of the project completed, said the Ethiopian Railways Corporation, a government entity entrusted to oversee the construction of modern railways infrastructure in the country.   

With its current pace of installation, the Ethiopian Railway Corporation is confident that the project will come to conclusion well ahead of the Growth and Transformation Plan period, which is just a year away.   

“The progress is well in time and we are monitoring the project progress carefully so that the project will be completed on time,” said Yehualaeshet Jemere, Construction and Project Execution Department Chief at the Ethiopian Railways Corporation in an interview with Afro FM.   

However, Yehualaeshet revealed that “We passed so many milestones starting from the optimization of the design,” recalling the tough challenge they passed through to get to this point.   

The current progress in the construction and installation work has even gone beyond expectations even defying some concerns which questioned the practicality of the project.

But, now, according to Yehualaeshet whom we interviewed at his office in Addis Ababa, the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit project has passed its halfway mark.
“This time we are about 56 percent on physical progress; this   includes the earth work, the tunnel construction on the northern section that is cut and cover section, the bridge works, we erected the girders,” the official said further adding that “In some parts of the city we already completed the bridge work, and finally we are now at the stage of track laying, some 14 kilometers of railway truck has been laid for Addis Ababa Light rail projects.” Currently electromechanical parts are under procurement.     

The Light Rail Transit project is one of the mega projects the corporation is focusing on. In terms of security, an automatic train protection system will be fitted into the train system to ensure safety.   

The system will also have a capacity to stop the train during emergencies. The corporation is closely monitoring the project to ensure its proper installation and operation.   

The public enterprise also extended appreciation for the patience and understanding demonstrated by residents of the city and others. As the project relies on electricity for its power, there will not be any pollution related problems.   

The overall project covers 34.24 kilometers (North-South line 16.9 km and East-West line 17.35 km). It will have a capacity of transporting 80,000 passengers per hour. (Dire tube)