NEW ORLEANS, May 7, 2010 — The Louisiana National Guard’s 205th Engineer Battalion built an improved ribbon bridge in St. Bernard Parish yesterday to be used in support of operations related to the oil spill off the state’s coast.
About 50 members of the 2225th Multi-Role Bridge Company, based in Marrero, La., built the 300-foot temporary wharf near the Frank “Blackie” Campo Marina in Shell Beach, La., so that oil booms can be picked up and distributed to fishermen who are working in support of the mission.
“Our main job is to construct the bridge so that the process of distribution becomes easier for all involved,” said Army Maj. James S. Slaven, executive officer of the 205th.
After transporting their boats and equipment to the Campo Marina in two separate convoys, the Guardsmen staged and accounted for all pieces. They loaded the boats into the bay, and one by one, each bridge section was dropped into the water and transported into the open bay for construction.
“Because we need adequate space to put it together, we have to move each section about 500 feet into the open bay,” Slaven explained.
“It seems like a tedious process, but once we get started, it rolls easily and quickly,” said Army 1st Sgt. Kevin P. Giroir, senior enlisted advisor for the 2225th. Once the sections were transported to the working area, a crew connected each component until the whole bridge was completed.
“They worked diligently to get this complete,” Slaven said. “We were originally expecting to be here until 10 p.m., but they completed the mission by 5 p.m.”
As a last order of business, Slaven inspected the bridge and gave it a final “thumbs-up” after the work met and surpassed standards. A team of about 10 Guardsmen will be onsite daily to maintain the bridge.
“I am really proud of each of these soldiers,” Slaven said. “They worked really hard today to help Louisiana, and I want them to know that I appreciate their efforts.”
Louisiana National Guard