By Staff Sgt. Jason Douglas, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public AffairsJune 23, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq - In the small but growing Iraqi village of Kardaara in Kirkuk province, Iraq, residents have to move along dusty trails by foot to get around town.
Thanks to the Iraqi Roads and Bridges Directorate, with help from 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, who recognized the problem, residents will soon be able to travel much easier due to an ongoing project aimed at building a network of roads within Kardaara.
Abbas Ali, from Vancouver, Canada and a civil engineer with the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kirkuk, traveled to Kardaara June 11 to check on the progress of the project and verify milestones were being met.
"I'm here to check on the progress on the roads and also to verify the quality of the compaction which determines the suitability for soil to be constructed upon," Ali said.
Sgt. Carlos Martinez, Ventura, Calif. native with the 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, who also works with the Kirkuk PRT, said the project, which began in May of this year, was funded through the use of the Iraqi Commander's Emergency Response Program funds. It will cost approximately $270,000, and should be completed by the end of August. In total, four different roads will be built in the town connecting residents to the Mosque, primary school, cemetery, and to outlying areas for farming.
"Farmers will be able to grow their crops and use the road to transport their crops to the markets," Martinez said.
A retaining wall is also being constructed along the new road near the town's cemetery to protect it from the construction.
Ali said he will continue to check on the progress on the roads every few weeks until complete, but that the project was coming along well.
"The sub-base, which is a mixture of sand and gravel that serves as the main load-bearing layer of a road, is the best I've seen," Ali said.
There was even discussion with residents about a possible future project.
"The town is growing in size and the residents would like to see some additional classrooms added to the school," Ali said.