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The Baltimore Construction News MARCH 2004 PAGE 11

Much like Iraq, Afghanistan is a goldmine for construction companies

JEFF ROBERTS – Special to The Baltimore Construction News tractor for USAID, we are daily life in Afghanistan. tains to irrigate the coun- just returned from a USAID
responsible for awarding a Created to bisect the enor- try’s crops. But 20 years of award ceremony in which
In the name of U.S. for- tives is the Highway 1 pro- wide array of civil and ver- mous Hindu Kush moun- blowing things up, bomb- LBG was presented with an
eign policy and democracy- ject, a 650-mile (1,048 kilo- tical engineering subcon- tain range, the Salang ing, and mining has caused award for completing the
building, the U.S. govern- meters) V-shaped transna- tracts,” says Tom Nicastro, Tunnel directly links north- it [Afghanistan] to be a lit- first phase of their contract
ment and the United States tional highway running Vice President of The Louis ern and southern tle less efficient than it used two weeks ahead of sched-
Agency for International from Kabul to Kandahar, Berger Group, Inc. and the Afghanistan. When func- to be.” ule, adds, “Contract exten-
Development (USAID), a and Kandahar to Herat. chief overseer of redevelop- tional, a trip from northern The vital water projects sion depends on client
D.C.-based independent Once finished, it will serve ment in Afghanistan. Afghanistan to Kabul might include Bethesda, Md.- funding and client happi-
organization specializing in as the developmental life- “When Requests for take 10 hours, as compared based, Development ness. And so far, the client,
economic, development, line of Afghanistan, trans- Proposal (RFPs) are issued, to 72 hours for the same Alternatives International [the US government] has
and humanitarian assistance porting people, food, health construction companies can trip when the tunnel is not (DAI), which has been been happy. We got a letter
throughout the world, have care supplies, and trade register to submit a propos- functioning. granted $6 million for irri- from President Bush saying
invested, and will continue goods to previously impass- al for development,” To ensure continued gation rehabilitation, and how happy he is with the
to invest, millions of dollars able destinations. Nicastro explains. operation for the 8,000 peo- Washington, D.C.-based road.”
in the reconstruction of “Highway 1 is the spine “International pre-quali- ple and 1,000 cars that use Chemonics, which has been However, Nicastro is
Afghanistan. “Since fiscal of the road construction fication for the first portion the tunnel on a daily basis, granted $2 million for agri- quick to point out that the
year 2002, the U.S. govern- project,” says Luke Zahner, of Phase II [the 351-mile USAID is providing $1.6 culture rehabilitation. letter received was
ment and USAID have a press officer with USAID section from Kandahar to million for snow removal, Among the non-profit addressed to LBG in addi-
invested about $1.8 billion in Washington, D.C., “it has Herat] was completed on emergency repairs, and traf- humanitarian efforts are a tion to all of the subcon-
in the redevelopment of been expedited because it is January 5, 2004. We have fic control management. $1 million grant from tractors, and the people and
Afghanistan,” says Harry critical to the mission in begun designing the road “Ventilation systems Mercy Corps, a Christian government of Afghanistan.
Edwards, a press officer Afghanistan.” and pulling together final have failed and people have volunteer ministry program, It is clear that there is no
with USAID in New Jersey-based Louis bid packages and we will died from carbon monoxide which will focus on small- shortage of work or funding
Washington, D.C. Berger Group, Inc. (LBG) be coming out with the poisoning; some have scale water sanitation, and in Afghanistan. One exam-
Edwards adds, is the primary contractor names of companies that frozen to death after the the International Rescue ple is the Kabul-Kandahar-
“Although the French, the for the Highway 1 project can bid on the Phase II of tunnel became obstructed Committee (IRC), a refugee Herat highway and related
Japanese, and the Saudis all and has also been tasked the road very soon,” he while they were inside,” resettlement and emergency projects, which were initial-
have projects in with construction of more adds. says Edwards. relief advocacy group, ly bid at $250 million.
Afghanistan, by and large, than 220 government build- Because Afghanistan is By 2005, USAID plans which has a $616,000 con- USAID has delivered $190
the U.S. government and ings and schools, and more landlocked, the roads are to rehabilitate or recon- tract to improve irrigation million of that sum, and the
USAID have the largest than 30 bridges; all of the veins that carry the struct more than 1,100 and water sanitation struc- project has not yet reached
slice of the pie.” which are located in areas lifeblood of that nation’s schools in Afghanistan. tures. its midpoint.
Because they act on adjacent to Hwy 1. Under redevelopment. “This is a project that is Although most of the “We envisage a long-
behalf of U.S. foreign poli- the contract USAID/ Accordingly, USAID absolutely necessary” says projects under USAID term commitment to
cy initiatives and according Afghanistan assigns infra- has earmarked funds for the Edwards, “the current liter- supervision have a 2 to 3- Afghanistan’s redevelop-
to appropriation legislation, structure projects to LBG future construction of more acy rate in Afghanistan is year lifespan, according to ment,” says Zahner.
USAID is obligated to use for design, public contract- than 2,500 miles of roads 13 percent.” Zahner, “The end of con- USAID is optimistic
U.S. companies or U.S.- ing, and final acceptance. throughout the Afghanistan. Moreover, USAID has tract does not mean the end about the continued role of
contracted local subcon- LBG tries to work closely In addition to roads con- committed funds to the of the commitment. It U.S. construction compa-
tractors in their redevelop- with local NGOs, especial- struction, rehabilitation of completion of more than means that the contract nies in rebuilding
ment efforts. ly on non-road infrastruc- the Salang Tunnel is a cru- 6,000 water-related con- must be extended to include Afghanistan. Edwards
Perhaps the most crucial ture. cial step in restoring nor- struction projects including more projects or further says, “we expect to be
of the redevelopment initia- “We are the general con- malcy and efficiency to the creation of wells, reser- obligations.” working [in Afghanistan]
voirs, irrigation canals, and “The project end dates for some time to come,”
dams. are not set in stone. They while Zahner adds,
DIRECTORY OF PRODUCTS & SERVICES According to Edwards, are target dates. The nature “President Bush has made
“Afghanistan used to have of USAID contracts allows it quite clear that the rede-
The Baltimore Construction News Directory of Construction products and services offer a a very intricate system of them to be extended” he velopment of Afghanistan
convenient contact reference point for local construction industry suppliers. We’ve arranged
these listings alphabetically. Basic listings, providing your company name and phone num- channeling and redistribut- adds. will be a long-term pro-
ber, are available for $195.00 for 12 issues. A two-line listing allowing or your address or ing water from the moun- Tom Nicastro, having ject.”
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To order your listing call 888-432-3555 or fax your request to 888-370-8745. You can also
email us at Stormwater
Continued from page 6
listed in Chapter 5 of the MDE manual
that may be applicable to a redevelopment
Carpentry/Remodeling International Stone Masonry –––––––––––––––––––––– project. Thoughtful designers work to
Property Contracting & Masonry Institute & Veneer Stone incorporate as many of these features as
Services, Inc. 724-776-1930 Athena Stone Corporation size of the redevelopment. In another possible in their overall stormwater man-
410-360-8517 Fax: 724-776-4963 Tel: 410-453-9606 jurisdiction, we were granted a waiver agement design. Qualifying for some of
Fax: 410-360-8705 Fax: 410-252-1752 from groundwater recharge because the these credits may not eliminate the need
Metal Buildings Email: county agreed that it would be impractical for waivers or other design measures, but
Construction Services Chief Buildings
there. We satisfied the review agency by it will help to cast your overall project
CJF, Inc. 215-396-6801 Surety Bonds
410-771-8400 Fax: 215-396-6802 Delmarva Surety demonstrating that the measures we were design in the most positive light. If the
Fax: 410-771-5541 Associates, Inc. able to incorporate in our design improved reviewing agency sees that your develop-
Email: 410-561-3593 the water quality management of the site ment team is making an overall effort to
Trucks, Sales and Leasing Fax: 410-561-3727 substantially. improve existing stormwater conditions as
General Contractors Chesapeake Truck Sales Email: twhipple@ While there are clearly numerous much as possible, they will likely work
Egan Enterprises Inc. 410-682-4000 stormwater management options to con- with the team to see the project to fruition.
410-343-0042 Fax: 410-391-4357
sider for any redevelopment project, sever- When that can be accomplished expedi-
Fax: 410-343-0065 Email: Telecommunications
Interconnect Services, Inc. al have frequently been effective. The use tiously and within budget, we all succeed.
Masonry 410-687-8900 of passive design features such as grass Andrew Ferretti is Manager of
Austin Masonry Inc. Fax: 410-574-7541 swales or other organic filters often can Maryland Operations for BL Companies’
410-893-7952 help meet water quality requirements inex- Baltimore, Maryland office. He can be
Fax: 410-893-0938 pensively without using up a great deal of reached at
land. In addition, there are several ‘credits’