Fort Lewis is home to one of the most modern and largest military bases in the United States. It is named after Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Army’s training areas at Fort Lewis include at least 115 live fire ranges, including one called “Little Baghdad.” Within this area, a roadway is littered with broken down cars and other items that soldiers might encounter while driving in and around the real city of Baghdad. They use the area to train soldiers how to avoid Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s), otherwise known as roadside bombs. A 4-ft. x 68-ft. Continental® Pedestrian Truss Bridge was installed in the training area in order to provide the soldiers with a safe passage over the road and out of danger of the IED’s.
A major benefit of utilizing a Continental truss bridge was that it could be installed quickly and efficiently. It took three construction workers just three days to install the entire structure.
The primary challenge of the project was scheduling the installation of the structure on an active military base in between training exercises. Throughout the day, there were at least 200 armed soldiers with tanks and armored personnel carriers (APC’s) crossing the site. In addition, every so often a Black Hawk helicopter would land near the site.
“We wanted a first class supplier, so we did not consider using anything but a Continental truss bridge,” stated John Zapel, President of Westek Forest, Ltd. “We’ve worked with Contech in the past and we knew we could count on them for superior customer service and a quality product.”