• BAGHDAD - Capt. Steven Belford, Pineville, La. project manager for 225th Eng. Bde., speaks to the Maya Road contractor while conducting a final inspection before the road opening Aug 1. The 120 day project turned a pothole haven into a newly finished access road that will be used for military and Iraqi civilian traffic driving along the route. "It's easier to travel and will keep military traffic out of local cities," said Belford.

    BAGHDAD - Capt. Steven Belford, Pineville, La...

    BAGHDAD - Capt. Steven Belford, Pineville, La. project manager for 225th Eng. Bde., speaks to the Maya Road contractor while conducting a final inspection before the road opening Aug 1. The 120 day project turned a pothole haven into a newly finished...

  • BAGHDAD - Sgt. 1st Class Chad McNeal, 225th Command Security Team noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Marksville, La., gives a bottle of water to an Iraqi child who lives along the newly paved Maya Road just outside of Victory Base Complex. The 225 CST provided security during the Aug. 1 final road inspection.

    BAGHDAD - Sgt. 1st Class Chad McNeal, 225th...

    BAGHDAD - Sgt. 1st Class Chad McNeal, 225th Command Security Team noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Marksville, La., gives a bottle of water to an Iraqi child who lives along the newly paved Maya Road just outside of Victory Base Complex. The 225 CST...

  • BAGHDAD - Capt. Steven Belford, Pineville, La. project manager for 225th Eng. Bde., briefs a Department of Defense contractor during the final inspection before Maya Road openes to military and Iraqi civilian traffic Aug. 1.  The one mile stretch of road was once filled with potholes and made travel almost impossible.

    BAGHDAD - Capt. Steven Belford, Pineville, La...

    BAGHDAD - Capt. Steven Belford, Pineville, La. project manager for 225th Eng. Bde., briefs a Department of Defense contractor during the final inspection before Maya Road openes to military and Iraqi civilian traffic Aug. 1. The one mile stretch of...

BAGHDAD - Maya road, the major access road just outside the Victory Base Complex opened to traffic Aug 1. For the past three months, the formerly pothole plagued dirt path underwent a complete overhaul. It is now a smooth concrete means of travel for both military and Iraqi civilian traffic.

One of the greatest achievements of this construction project is that it will now reduce the footprint of Coalition forces in line with the June 30 Security Agreement.

"It is not only an easier means of travel, it also keeps military traffic out of the cities," said Capt. Steven Belford, of Pineville, La., 225th Engineer Brigade project manager. "Those who travel along this route will no longer have to bump their heads (from the potholes)."

VBC funds were used for the mile long project; a huge undertaking. The old concrete foundation had to be dug up and removed, and old buildings had to be demolished and cleared out before the first layer of limestone could be laid down.

The 225th Eng. Bde. Construction Effects Operations Center approved the technical plans and provided a great training opportunity for Soldiers working in CEOC.

"We were able to take them out on location and teach them about the job being conducted in a combat zone, how to improve communications on all sides, and how to conduct inspections," said Belford. "It also allowed them to solve issues as they came up and interact with Iraqis in a positive way."

The Maya project was also a win-win situation for Iraqis because local contractors were paid to do the construction work.

"It's good to be able to inject money into the local economy and increase employment in that neighborhood which was at one point in time very volatile," said Belford.

Page last updated Mon August 3rd, 2009 at 15:55