Bechtel, Al-Bunnia complete Al-Mat Bypass in Iraq
As part of the US government's rebuilding efforts in Iraq and in cooperation with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that Bechtel, the recipient of USAID's Iraq Civil Infrastructure Reconstruction contract, has finished its first Iraqi infrastructure project, a four-lane bridge bypass. An Iraqi firm, Al-Bunnia Trading Company, was the lead subcontractor on the project.
The completion of the bypass is the first step in repairing the Al-Mat Bridge, which was damaged in the recent conflict. The bridge is an important link of Highway 10, a major thoroughfare between Jordan and Baghdad.
More than 3,000 trucks per day carry humanitarian shipments and other goods along this route. Now that the bypass is completed, reconstruction of the bridge can begin. Bechtel estimates that completion of the bridge will take six months.
Bechtel subcontracted the work on the Al-Mat bypass to an Iraqi firm, the Al-Bunnia Trading Company of Baghdad. Bechtel managers supervised the construction of the three kilometer-long bypass, while Al-Bunnia employed about 50 of the company's engineers and field employees.
Bechtel expects that more than 50 percent of its work in Iraq will be subcontracted to qualified Iraqi companies with the labor and expertise to carry out critical infrastructure projects. "The successful completion of the Al-Mat bypass in less than a month is an important step in rebuilding Iraq," said Andrew Natsios, administrator of USAID.
"Not only will the bypass improve transportation in the country, but also the participation of an Iraqi firm in the process demonstrates the leadership role Iraqis will continue to have in building their own future."
Other USAID-funded reconstruction projects include the continuation of work on the port of Umm Qasr. The port opened to commercial traffic on June 16, but work to dredge the port's deep-water basin, remove unexploded ordnance and sunken vessels, and return power supply continues.
Two Iraqi firms, the Al-Ebadi Group, and Al-Dohan are partnering with Bechtel at the Port of Umm Qasr by providing labor, equipment and technical support. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)