Iraq’s Al-Mat Bridge, a key transportation link between Baghdad and Jordan has been partially opened for traffic. US-Bechtel company recently completed repairing the south span of the overpass.
The four-lane Al-Mat Bridge is located approximately 300 kilometers west of Baghdad and 180 kilometers from the Jordanian border. With an entrance from Highway 10, the bridge is used by over 3,000 trucks daily, bringing humanitarian aid and goods to Baghdad and other Iraqi cities from Jordan. Completion of the north span of the bridge is expected in March.
The bridge suffered extensive damage during the conflict and have been closed since early 2003. 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 US 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 six-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.
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 airports. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )