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Posts Tagged ‘construction’

Jul 31 2008

Mosul Courthouse

Posted by Dale @ 6:14 pm in Deployment,Outside the Wire Print This Post Print This Post

This past Monday morning, Mike F and I visited the Mosul courthouse. Mike is managing a project at the courthouse to provide some improvements to the physical security. In addition to providing blast walls along the street, the project includes a new screening building, floodlights, and a security system. We’ve driven by the front of the courthouse several times in the past week on our way to other sites.

Mosul Courthouse

Mosul Courthouse

Each time, I’ve noticed that construction on the new security building has not progressed, so I wasn’t expecting to see much else happening during this visit.

Screening Building

However, when we walked through the courthouse to the back side, I was pleasantly surprised. The contractor has installed the two new trailers for the security personnel, 38 out of 40 new floodlights, and placed the concrete pad for the new generator. The contractor’s on site supervisor, wearing the red keffiyeh on his head, was eager to talk to us about the project. His English was pretty good, and he was definitely proud of his work.

Contractor's Supervisor

Contractor's Supervisor

Mike seems to be able to resolve any issues that come up for this project relatively quickly. I think he must threaten them with his hook, but I can’t prove it!

Jul 29 2008

Site Visits in Kurdistan

Posted by Dale @ 9:13 pm in Deployment,Outside the Wire Print This Post Print This Post

Last week, I spent a day visiting projects in Dahuk followed by a day of visits in Erbil. I saw lots of great projects. With construction projects, the most memorable things are the things that aren’t perfect. You’ve probably heard the phrase “good enough for government work”. When I was in Korea, we often joked that it was the land of the “not quite right”. Sometimes when I visit projects here, I think of “Iraqi good enough”.

At one school we visited in Dahuk, the contractor had recently completed a basketball court. Unfortunately, he installed the goal so that the backboard was almost even with the half circle below the free throw line. In the photo, Masuood, the Deputy in the Dahuk Office, is shooting from the line.

Masuood Shoots a Freethrow

Masuood Shoots a Freethrow

Also at this school, the contractor installed a very popular fire extinguishing system I’ve seen at several other school projects.

Fire Buckets

Fire Buckets

How do you fix issues such as these? Easy, you put the USACE castle on the front, and that’s makes everything perfect!

Veen School in Dahuk

Veen School in Dahuk

Jul 24 2008

Mosul Police Academy Project

Posted by Dale @ 8:33 pm in Deployment,Outside the Wire Print This Post Print This Post

I visited a new construction project this morning. According to the project packet, it is officially called the Baghdad Police College – North (Mosul). I’m not sure why Baghdad has to be in the name, but I’m not the one paying for it. Anyway, this was an early morning visit; we hit the road at 0430. I made sure to get in a cup of coffee before departing so I wouldn’t be so grumpy. The project has just started, and the contractor is doing a lot of foundation work at this point.

Foundation and Columns

This facility will eventually house 1000 police recruits and 100 instructors and provide classrooms and other training facilities. Today we saw a lot of cement, blocks and rebar. The contractor awarded this $18 million contract is an Iraqi construction company. So far, I’m very impressed with the company. It’s nice to see an Iraqi company with the resources to handle such a large project. I think Mugs’ Dad would appreciate all of the labor involved in tying the rebar.

Rebar

Rebar

As we were walking around, Mike F stopped to light a cigarette. The sun was rising above the horizon, and I thought it looked like a Marlboro Man advertisement.

Mike F - Marlboro Man

Mike F - Marlboro Man

Don’t tell his wife he’s smoking again. He’ll probably get in trouble.