HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan --
Coalition forces operating in southern Helmand province, Afghanistan, as well as local nationals, will be able to continue to cross the Helmand River over the Darvishan Bridge while Afghan contractors conduct repairs on its east end.
Marines with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) placed a bridge over the damaged section of the Darvishan June 16 located in the Garmsir district.
“A few months ago an [improvised explosive device] went off here, weakening the east end of the bridge,” explained Sgt. Christopher M. A. Ivester, from Gastonia, N.C., the bridge master with 7th ESB, 2nd MLG (Fwd.). “After the blast the structure has been deteriorating really fast, making crossing the bridge unsafe for any vehicle.”
The Darvishan is an important crossing point for the local population in the area connecting the surrounding villages on the east and west of the river, and coalition forces use it frequently as well.
“This is just a temporary fix,” he added. “Our bridge will stay here while contractors fix the damaged area.”
The continuous use of the Darvishan could cause more damage to the structure, making the repairs more complex and potentially stopping the traffic over it for an undetermined period of time.
“It is a temporary solution for what could have been a permanently damaged bridge,” Ivester said.
The bridge will directly benefit the Marines of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division (Fwd.) who are currently operating in the district in support of the International Security Assistance Force as well as the local population.