Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 3 Sept 2008

From MNF-I, Bridge opens near Najaf.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq – The vice president of Iraq, members of the Iraqi ministry and the governor of Najaf province attended the opening of the North Kufa Bridge near Najaf Aug. 28. The bridge allows traffic to bypass the congested market area in downtown Kufa. It is expected the bridge will allow businesses in the area to grow and provide additional entry points for people visiting the religious sites. “This bridge shows the commitment by the Government of Iraq to build projects in poorer areas that were ignored by the former regime of Saddam,” said Adil Abd al-Mahdi, Iraq’s vice president. “Projects like this bridge will help generate economic improvement in areas like Kufa. This bridge, the Imam Ali Bridge, is built near many important holy sites. Close to here is the Imam Ali Shrine and the Kufa Mosque. This bridge is a great addition to the area.” Funding for the bridge was made possible through U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division Project Partnership Agreement grants. An Iraqi contractor completed the bridge construction. “This has been accomplished by Kufa, working with funds provided through a U.S. grant, and working with the Najaf Province government and the minister of housing and construction,” said Col. George Wright, with USACE Gulf Region Division. “This bridge is a success and shows cooperation between not only the U.S. government, but cooperation between several levels of the Government of Iraq.”