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City prepares road infrastructure management strategy

Addis Ababa’s Transport Bureau plans to prepare a comprehensive road infrastructure management strategy as part of its ten-year transport sector plan, expected to be approved by the City’s Council next month, The Reporter has learnt.

According to Aregawi Maru, the communications director at the Bureau, the strategy is meant to govern all physical assets within the road reserve including the road itself, electric poles, traffic lights, dust bins and different road signs. He further added that this includes corridors, bus station sheds, earthworks, drainage and other structures associated with the road.

So far, there has not been an institutional setup meant to integrate and govern these resources. Hence, the bureau intends to fill this gap through the implementation of the strategy, to help properly administer road infrastructure and other resources associated with it.

According to the director, it is common to see damaged electric poles, traffic lights, dust bins and bus sheds in Addis Ababa. A study conducted by the bureau in 2019 found out that road infrastructure worth a total of 6.6 million birr was damaged.

The damage in the city was not only affecting property; it also infringed on the aesthetics of the city. Therefore, it had to develop a system and strategy which resolves such damages.

“Initially, the bureau tried to minimize damages by developing a communications strategy to create awareness among the society on the need to care for these public properties. But because of the magnitude of the issue, it was later decided to be integrated in a wider transport sector strategy,” Aregawi stated.

Hence, the strategy introduces name tagging and coding of these properties to ensure their proper tracking.  

The Bureau has already purchased a server to store the information collected on these infrastructural properties and help access relevant information from one place, Aregawi said.

The strategy would also introduce a system to penalize people who damage these properties apart from fines by the traffic police.

Through the strategy, the Bureau intends to bring about smart road infrastructure management and prepare manuals as a tool for the smart management system. Through the system, the Bureau would compile information on the city’s road infrastructure so that it can quickly maintain damages.

 Accordingly, the priority tasks under the new strategy are mapping the city’s road infrastructure, coding and registering it on the server.