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 Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16