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CLB-3 trains to build new bridge

By Lance Cpl. Nathan Knapke | | November 1, 2013

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Combat engineer and welder Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 3 worked to complete a two-week long project on a temporary non-standard bridge at engineer building lot 4079, Oct. 24, 2013.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, a temporary or non-standard bridge is an alternative to costly detours, maintenance of traffic, increased traffic volume. Prefabricated steel bridges are utilized for construction or replacement. The bridges are installed as temporary structures and then disassembled and stored until used again.

“I’ve been with CLB-3 for almost a year and this is the first time I’ve built a bridge with this unit,” said Cpl. Raymond Adams, a metal worker with CLB-3 and 25-year-old native of Donalsonville, Ga. “We built similar bridges like this in Afghanistan. Those who’ve never built a bridge are learning a lot.”

The bridge building process commenced with Marines annotating the dimensions and gathering materials. They estimated that a 40-foot-long bridge was needed to cover the 30-foot gap during the exercise.

The Marine Corps uses these bridges for many reasons and Marines build them using several skills learned throughout their time in the Corps.

“I like to think of myself as an artist,” said Sgt. Mark Cureo, a metal worker with CLB-3 and 24-year-old native of Sacramento, Calif. “I always take advantage of every time I get a chance to improve my skills. When I put the rod to the metal, I make sure my beads are perfect. Training like this is a great way to add hours of experience to the résumé.”

Marines made both of the two major parts of the bridge. The combat engineers built several “decks” and metal workers took several I-beams and welded them together for the foundation of the bridge.

The deck was made from 6x8 pieces of lumber in the shape of squares. After several squares were made, they were laid across the I-beam foundation for a sturdy surface for vehicles and supplies to cross over.

After the decks and I-beams were complete, they continued on to the finishing touches, cutting holes into the decks and tying them down with wire. Once the deck and I-beams were together, it was lifted into place. The top of the bridge was moved onto concrete pillars to complete the exercise.

“I like building these kinds of bridges because it’s just raw material at first, but then it turns into a work of art,” Adams said “When I look at the end product, it’s awesome to know that I played a role in putting all of it together.”


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