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WORLD NEWS 15
Army October 15, 2009
By Capt Matt Moran
RESIDENTS of Oruzgan province
have a new crossing thanks to the hard
work of MRTF 2 engineers.
Kowtwal Crossing was officially
opened on September 24 after initial
planning started in June last year.
The Commander of Australian forc-
es in the Middle East and Afghanistan,
Maj-Gen Mark Kelly, and the Task Force
Oruzgan Commander, Dutch Brig Marc
Van Uhm, attended the opening.
The fourth rotation of the
Reconstruction Task Force and the
first rotation of the Mentoring and
Reconstruction Task Force designed the
Construction on the 116m-long box
culvert causeway was done in three
steps, using four contractors managed by
Australian Army engineers.
"The Kowtwal Crossing project is
a clear indication of the development
that is occurring in Oruzgan. Three local
contractors were involved in its construc-
tion, two of whom formed a joint venture
to complete the foundation and erosion
protection works," said project engineer
Capt Brad Willis.
The first phase involved pre-casting
248 box culverts at Camp Holland.
"This is the first instance of pre-cast
concreting in Oruzgan to our knowledge
and this is a demonstration to the people
of Oruzgan of what is possible. I look
forward to our future projects here," Capt
The second phase included diverting
the river, protecting against erosion and
constructing the base slabs. The third
phase involved the transportation of the
box culverts to the site, the construction
of the main superstructure and the rea-
lignment of the approach roads.
"The completion of Kowtwal Crossing
immediately improves the access across
Dorofshan for local residents and the
wider community. More importantly,
the turbulent waters of Oruzgan's winter
months and the following snow melt will
not result in the isolation of communi-
ties," Capt Willis said.
"Kowtwal Crossing will not only
provide rural communities with bet-
ter access to the services in Tarin Kowt
and vice versa, but should reduce the
divide that exists between East and West
The project cost more than $3 million.
Crossing the divide
An occasion for all: Afghan
children help with the opening of
Kowtwal Crossing (above).
Important links: The completed
116m-long box culvert causeway
which will provide rural communities
with better access to Tarin Kowt and
reduce the divide between East and
West Dorofshan (left).
Photo by Jan-Kees de Meester, Dutch Forces
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