American Forces Press Service
Oct. 24, 2007 - Construction is under way for a $1.7 million bridge across the Farah Rud River here. The project, funded by the Farah Provisional Reconstruction Team, will employ several hundred Afghans for two years. Each year, the Farah Rud River rises about six feet, cutting the people in Tojg off from the main road and their farmlands. The nearest crossing is several hours away, in Farah City. Eight to 10 people drown annually attempting to cross the river.
The massive masonry and reinforced concrete bridge will span 300 meters and rise 12 meters over the center span.
The bridge will benefit not only the 10,000 residents of Tojg, but also people from the districts of Shib Koh, Qalay Ka, Lashe Juwain and Farah City.
Due to the size and duration of the project, several local contractors joined forces to create a joint venture company, pooling resources, equipment and manpower for the bridge construction. These companies include Shir Pir Construction Co., Bradaran Noori, Kheyaban Construction Co., and Meihan Parwar.
By reducing travel time to the city center, this link will enhance economic activity, improve response times for the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, and improve access to social services. The link also will extend the reach of the central government, allowing officials to conduct more frequent assessments of the outer districts.
"This project is right up there with some of the major projects we have done in Afghanistan. It's part of the foundation infrastructure, roads and bridges and dams, heavy infrastructure that allows transportation and goods and services to flow. Projects like this are critical for the functioning of the economy," said Navy Lt. j.g. Stephen Ramsey, an engineer at Farah PRT.
(From a Combined Joint Task Force 82 news release.)