USACE completes major section of Route Bear highway
By Michael Beeman
Afghanistan Engineering District-South
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan —The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineering District-South recently completed construction of a major eight mile section of a two lane roadway between Kandahar City and Tarin Kwot. The $11.4 million project is expected to increase commerce and significantly reduce travel time between the two cities.
The nearly 10-month project, which included installation of 25 culverts and a major low water crossing, was funded through the Regional Command South Commander's Emergency Response Program. The CERP is in place across Afghanistan and provides combatant commanders the ability to fund activities, such as infrastructure construction that aids local communities. Commanders are able to use the funds for infrastructure construction as a means to support counterinsurgency through economic growth.
The highway, known as Route Bear, had previously been an unimproved, dirt roadway consisting of hard uphill climbs, sharp turns and soft shoulders that caused frequent rollovers of large vehicles traveling the route.
"Completion of this construction project will provide a more expeditious means of moving between Kandahar, the second largest city in Afghanistan, and the outlying town of Tarin Kwot, in Uruzgan province," noted Robert Greco, a South District project manager deployed from USACE New York District. "This should cut down travel time significantly between the two cities and facilitate a much-needed opportunity for expansion of commerce and greater business growth in both of these communities."