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Troops, Government Team Up to Rebuild Bridge

American Forces Press Service

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Dec. 11, 2009 – Task Force Mountain Warrior servicemembers and Afghan contractors are working to replace a bridge across the Saracha River here.

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International Security Assistance Force servicemembers assemble the new Saracha Bridge in Afghanistan’s Nangahar province, Dec. 7, 2009. The Afghan government, along with Afghan and international servicemembers, are working together to complete the bridge. U.S. Army photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

After flash flooding destroyed the bridge along Highway 1 Aug. 31, Afghan contractors immediately built dirt bypasses and moved concrete to support the footers and piers of the bridge.

In September, a complete reconstruction of the bridge began to restore the traffic flow through the area.

Servicemembers from the 1613th Engineer Company conducted the necessary demolition of what was left of the bridge and emplaced concrete footers and piers for support. The 502nd Multi-Role Bridge Company placed towers and constructed a Mabey-Johnson Bridge, a temporary military bridge that snaps together, and launched it across the nearly 500-foot gap.

Task Force Mountain Warrior servicemembers synchronized and coordinated all assets and provided around-the-clock security and engineer escorts. Afghan soldiers and police provided traffic control and security.

Rebuilding the Saracha Bridge presented an opportunity for the International Security Assistance Force and local Afghan government agencies to come together and solve a problem, said Army Maj. Gerald S. Law, an engineer for Task Force Mountain Warrior and the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team.

“Everyone came through and did a great job,” he said. “We expect the bridge to be open in late December. This bridge represents a combined effort and shows what we can accomplish together.”

(From a Task Force Mountain Warrior news release.)

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageInternational Security Assistance Force servicemembers are working with the Afghan government and contractors to assemble the new Saracha Bridge in Afghanistan’s Nangahar province, Dec. 7, 2009. U.S. Army photo  
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