News: Engineer company restores bridge over Tigris River
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - In early April, the 50th Engineer Company restored a bridge, essential for transporting Army equipment over the Tigris River near Taji, Iraq.
Sometimes when the river raises it causes portions of the bridge to separate, said 1st. Lt. Michael Goddard, the 50th Eng. Co. 1st platoon leader.
"In this case, our higher headquarters called us to repair the loose locks that join the bridge," said Goddard.
The bridge is composed of a series of buoyant ramps that are held together with large metal hooks that lock into place, said Pfc. Michael Billey, a 50th Eng. Co. expedient bridge repairman on the scene.
"Some portions of the ramps are on solid ground so it can be difficult to just push the bridge back together with a large vehicle," said Goddard.
The 50th Eng. Co. Soldiers backed an M1977 Common Bridge Transporter into the Tigris River to release a boat to pull security from the water.
Once security measures were taken, the team pulled and tightened cables that connect the pieces of the bridge.
"Sometimes we will use the boat to help nudge things into place," said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crose, a 50th Eng. Co. senior boatman.
The bridge is important for the area because it saves time. The bridge can support the weight of one M1 Abrams Tank traveling at five miles per hour and it is an alternate route that allows Soldiers to avoid the improvised explosive devices that may be encountered on the roads, said Goddard.
After working on the bridge for seven days, the bridge was ready to serve the needs of the military once again.
"Our job is to do expedient repair on bridges," said Crose.
"We can only fix the bridge to a certain point," said Goddard. "At some point the bridge
will need to be replaced," he said.