Engineers smooth HMR’s sidewalks

| February 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from the 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, build a new sidewalk next to HMR’s CDC, Feb. 2. (Capt. Christopher Ren | 84th Engineer Battalion Public Affairs, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Soldiers from the 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., 8th TSC, build a new sidewalk next to HMR’s CDC, Feb. 2. (Capt. Christopher Ren | 84th Engineer Battalion Public Affairs, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

1st Lt. Paulina Ziminska
84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

 

HELEMANO MILITARY RESERVATION — Pedestrians using the sidewalks in front of the Child Development Center, here, won’t have to worry about having trouble riding a bicycle or pushing a stroller over roots in a broken sidewalk.

Soldiers of the 643rd Engineer Company, 84th Eng. Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, recently rebuilt the bumpy stretch of sidewalk to alleviate the very frustrating and painful experience.

Root networks from nearby trees had elevated concrete slabs of the sidewalk as much as six inches in some places. Not only was this disrepair a nuisance, but it was also a safety hazard for the community because it forced HMR residents into the street while jogging or pushing a stroller.

“My wife and I would have to push our daughter down the street because of the bad condition of the sidewalk,” said Spc. Carl Holloway, carpentry and masonry specialist, 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde., who also lives on HMR. “I am proud to be able to contribute to making HMR a safer environment for exercise.”

The project consisted of excavating existing concrete and laying a new sidewalk. The 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde. Soldiers also removed tree roots from the immediate area around the sidewalk and placed bio-barriers, used to redirect roots growing around man-made foundations, like concrete sidewalks, to prevent roots from damaging them.

Removing large tree roots that were solidly anchored in the ground proved to be the most challenging part of the project, as some roots measured up to 10 inches in diameter.

In all, Soldiers repaired 630 feet of sidewalk, which equates to pouring 40 cubic yards or 81 tons of concrete.

“This was the first time I’ve had an opportunity to pour concrete outside of the schoolhouse,” said Pfc. Abel Almager, carpentry and masonry specialist, 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde. “It made me realize how systematic the process has to be and how important it is that everyone works as a team.”

A project like this one strengthens a unit because it helps Soldiers keep their skills sharp between deployments, said Spc. Christopher Meyers, a carpentry and masonry specialist with the 643rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.

“I enjoy being active in my military occupational (skill set) while benefiting the community of the HMR, which is where I live,” he said. “This project enabled me to hone my skills in masonry while teaching and mentoring new Soldiers.”

It took a lot of old-fashioned manpower to lift tree roots out of the ground, but regardless of the hard work, Soldiers enjoyed being out on the job site and helping their community.

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Category: Community Relations, News

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