A consortium led by Italian giant Consta, one of the leading contractor groups in Italy, specialising in civil engineering and rail work, is currently rehabilitating the 781km Ethio-Djibouti Railway, CFDE (Chemin de fer Djibouti-Ethopien). Consta is to repair almost 103km of damaged line on the Djibouti-Dire Dawa section and 12km between Dire Dawa and Addis Abeba. The European Union (EU) is providing $US50 million to fund the project.
Consta Joint Venture (JV), a subsidiary of the Consta consortium, has subcontracted Mesfin Industrial Engineering to upgrade bridges on the railway. It will replace 25 steel bridges with new concrete structures and will treat 65 for protection from corrosion. Seven of the bridges are in Djibouti, the remaining 83 within Ethiopia.
Much of the ifrastructure was damaged during the Ethio-Somalian war in the early 1970s, with little attempt at subsequent repair.
Consta has established a large sleeper factory at Dire Dawa, 501km east of Addis Abeba. It is producing 15,000 concrete monoblock sleepers monthly.