Bridge over the Ugar River

2Lt. Agustín López Marín
First published May 14, 2003

During the second fortnight of April, a Sapper platoon from the construction troop belonging to the 4th Armoured Engine Squadron was in charge of raising a Bailey bridge over the Ugar River.

Vitovlje - The 4th Armoured Engine Squadron is assigned to the Multinational Brigade Northwest (MNB-NW). The detachment is stationed in Sipovo. One platoon of the construction troop was deployed during 15 days on the Ugar River bank with the main goal of accomplishing the de-launching of the 'Mannock Bridge'.

A linking bridge
UK 1Lt. Tim Hill led the unit designated to perform this project. "Our mission is the recovery of a 100-feet Triple-Double Extra Wide Bailey Bridge (TDEWBB), located on Route Clog, just on the Inter Entity Boundary Line (IEBL), 21km north of Turbe and 17km south-east of Knezevo. The 'Mannock Bridge' represents a vital spot because it's the most important bridge from Knezevo to Turbe. The first bridge was put in place around 1995 and replaced in 1998," stated Hill.
"We can describe this bridge as a TDEWBB. It is built on a demolished three- span concrete reinforced bridge over the Ugar River, where two spans of the bridge are still in place. The bridge will be closed for traffic in the next four months, due to the fact that a civilian company will build a new concrete bridge. Once we recover the bridge, it will be donated in the future to the Republika Srpska," added Hill.

UK soldiers performed a great work
Staff Sgt. Steve Williams is the deputy commander of the platoon. "After carrying out a study, which included a first appraisal of the work, it has been decided that the bridge will be recovered to the home (North) bank.
The work's programme was divided in three phases. First, we had to move to the site and set up a troop administration area.
During the second phase, the action includes three tasks: first, the preparation of the home and far banks ready for de-launching (once the ends of bridge's ramps have been removed the bridge will be raised onto the rollers). Then, the de-launching of the bridge (once the bridge is raised onto the rollers it will have to be anchored to prevent movement. The nose will then be constructed and the bridge will be de-launched to the home bank). And finally, the strip of the bridge (due to the nature of the site the bridge may require a counter weight to be added to enable the strip).
The third and last phase includes the recovery from site. The Military Construction force will then recover to Sipovo Saw mill. All bridge parts are to be left on site, stacked and ready for collection at a later stage," commented Williams.
Cpl. John Dolman explained: "We have to verify the security measures because we are working with a bad weather (rainstorms and wind) using heavy machinery and specialized vehicles. I can mention among the vehicles employed one combat engineers tractor, one crane, the Foden recovery vehicle and one case tractor."

Related links: Engineering - bridge stories
Nations of SFOR: UK

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Photos: Sgt. Toni McDowell

The risk of accidents is lesser if soldiers work in teams.


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Cpl. Martin (r.) explains the task for the engineer tractor to his squad.


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Lt. Hill (c.), Staff Sgt. Williams (r.) and Cpl. Miller (l.) comment on the work programme.


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3699) Staff Sgt. Williams and Cpl. Dolman (c.) decide which vehicle to use, the case tractor (l.) or the crane (r.).


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Lance Cpl. McIntyre is an expert sapper working close to danger.