Jun 15 , 2019

The renovation project to turn part of the National Palace into a museum and recreational centre is one of the major projects that has been given special attention by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD).

Two Chinese companies are vying to construct a 60m tunnel to connect the National Palace Park and Museum with a proposed underground parking lot to be located just south of the palace.

Jiangsu International Economic & Technical Limited and China State Construction Engineering Corporation are two companies that became technically qualified for the bid that is underway by the Addis Abeba Construction Bureau.

Seven foreign construction companies were invited to submit offers through a selective bid process by the Bureau for the design and build project. Three companies submitted their technical and financial proposals, while one firm was disqualified for delivering its documents late.

The Bureau is evaluating the financial offers of the two Chinese companies, which are involved in the construction of the financial district of the city where Jiangsu International is constructing the 37-storey Nib Bank headquarters, while China State Construction Engineering Corporation is building the 52-storey headquarters for the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.

The city-funded underground parking will support an above-ground recreational complex that is designed to be built on 10,000Sqm of open space adjacent to the palace in Kirkos District.

The recreational complex will consist of landscaped areas, underground parking that accommodates up to 1,000 cars, 150 to 200 retail spaces supporting bookshops, souvenirs and antique outlets, restaurants offering traditional food, entertainment corners and other tourist attractions. The project, which typically entails the preparation of an environmental review, feasibility studies, construction documents with drawings and specifications, plan reviews and contract execution, is expected to be completed within 18 months after a notice to proceed is issued to the winning firm.

The project idea and conceptual design were initiated by the Addis Abeba City Transport Programme Management Office and the project will be executed by the City Construction Bureau.

The Bureau has been given the responsibility and mandate of managing all construction activities within the city since January of this year, according to Maare Mekonen, deputy general Manager of the Addis Abeba City Transport Programs Management Office.

The selection of the companies has been performed after a thorough evaluation of their reputations on other projects and their financial capacity to complete the project within the predetermined period of time.

It is expected that the parking lot will alleviate the city’s parking shortage in addition to serving visitors of the National Palace. The project will provide 1,050 jobs in the city, 750 during the operational stage and around 300 during the construction phase.

The renovation project to turn part of the National Palace into a museum and recreational centre is one of the major projects that has been given special attention by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD).

Last February the Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa launched a 2.5 billion Br project, part of the larger 29 billion Br river revitalization project that extends from Basha Wolde Chilot to Orma Garage, close to Sheraton Addis Hotel. The  29-billion-Br revitalisation project involves two rivers that extend from Entoto to Aqaqi Water Treatment Plant, a 23Km stretch that will include refurbishing the riversides, landscaping the area and building recreational centres along the riverbanks.

Aziza Abdulfetah, lecturer and chairperson of landscape architecture at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction & City Development, recommends that the design does not erase the social, economic and ecological trace of the neighbourhood.

“The client should ensure that the conceptual design is grounded in the actual physical expression of the project,” Aziza said, "as there are practices by contractors in design-build projects to sometimes change designs to make it advantageous to the contractor."

PUBLISHED ON Jun 15,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 998]

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