BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Bechtel today announced the opening
of the south span of the Al Mat Bridge, a key transportation link in Iraq
approximately 300 km (186 miles) west of Baghdad and 180 km (112 miles) from
the Jordanian border.
The four-lane Al Mat bridge is located on Highway 10, which carries over
3,000 trucks daily, bringing humanitarian aid and goods to Baghdad and other
Iraqi cities from Jordan. Both bridge spans suffered extensive damage during
the conflict and have been closed since early 2003. To accommodate traffic on
this vital route, Bechtel constructed a bypass around the damaged bridge,
which opened in July 2003. Opening of the south span to two-way traffic has
eliminated the need for this bypass.
As part of its contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID), Bechtel subcontracted the Al Mat work to Al Qarya Company, an Iraqi
construction firm. Al Qarya employed 40 field personnel at the peak of
repairs, and worked under Bechtel supervision to complete the 6-month
reconstruction project. The subcontractor demolished the unusable section of
the bridge and reconstructed the downed span with precast prestressed beams
and a composite bridge deck. Al Qarya purchased the prestressed beams from an
Iraqi fabricator, Dijla Prestressing, in Baghdad. Al Qarya also repaired
concrete columns and beams that were damaged during the conflict, and replaced
or repaired all damaged handrails and lighting.
"Al Qarya did a great job and effectively met the reconstruction
challenges the damaged bridge presented," said Ron Ramsay, Bechtel's project
manager for Iraq bridges. "This was an especially rewarding project because it
directly benefits the Iraqi people, and the work was performed by Iraqi
Completion of the north span of the bridge is expected in March.
In support of the Coalition Provisional Authority's reconstruction effort
in Iraq, Bechtel is under contract with USAID for the repair, rehabilitation,
or reconstruction of vital elements of Iraq's infrastructure. This effort runs
through 2005 and includes the repair and renovation of port facilities, power
stations, telecommunications, water systems, rail, bridges, buildings, and
Bechtel is one of the world's premier engineering-construction
organizations. It provides technical, management, and directly related
services to develop, finance, build, and operate installations for customers
in a wide range of industries. To date, Bechtel has worked on more than 20,000
projects in 140 countries on all seven continents.