The Meskel Square to City Hall project has amassed huge attention from the public since its commencement in April 2020. With 6000 truckloads of the earth being excavated per day, about 800 sqm of perforated tile for pavement manufactured per day, things seemed to be on track. The recent challenges, however, have not gone unnoticed. The heavy rainfall is one of the major factors that forced construction to an on-and-off trend. So have payment issues that are not uncommon in the country. But perhaps more significant is the major change in design. Undocumented changes in city planning is a regular practice observed in Ethiopia. It’s not shocking that the degree of change increases more underground. This is precisely what happened in this case; the discovery of a major underground pipeline that was displaced from its original location. This forced a redesign of the original plans that included the action plan based on the current weather conditions.
Pointing out that the context should always be planned for, a few measures have been taken by the supervision team to tackle the recurrent interruptions. At first, prioritization had been given to compaction works early on to avoid flooding of rain water into the pits. Second, construction workers on site have been provided with makeshift sheds on site to account for steady labor. Third, the crew has been divided in two to continue construction independent of each other, on two sides one at St. Joseph School and another towards the Red Terror Martyrs Museum.
All these changes have been made to combat these unforeseen events causing the delays. Not only have the stakeholders involved persisted to see this mega project through, but the government has also intervened to help speed up the process. At the moment, with everything going according to plan the September deadline seems achievable.
Addis Ababa has taken on more public projects than it ever had and their supervision is another huge task. To solve this and many other problems cropping up in the midst of these undertakings, the Mayor’s Office has officially inaugurated Addis Hall of Architecture and Urbanization.
Designed to bridge the information gap and serve as a space for public discussion, the center aims to positively influence all parties involved in the city’s redevelopment progress.