STILL LIVING IN THE PAST.......
A dated report from 1968 in the I-Corps area...This was my battalion tasked with those operations you may have observed if you were there..Chief
NMCB-5 commenced asphalt paving operations on National Route 1 between the Dong Ha LCU Ramp and the main gate of the Dong Ha Combat Base.
…NMCB-5 was assigned the maintenance of Route 1 from Dong Ha north to Gio Linh (12,000 meters) and the upgrading of Route 1 from Dong Ha south to Bridge 1-5 (5,000 meters. Due to the tactical situation, construction on Route 1 North was limited to patching potholes, mine craters, and repairing culverts which had been blown. The only significant projecton the section was the repair of Bridge 1-2, the Dong Ha Bridge . One of the old concrete piers was found to be settling to an extent which would soon cause failure of the bridge. T timber pile bent with steel I-beam support was installed in the location of the failing concrete support. Route 1 South came under an extensive upgrade program. The subbase was widened to allow for a 24’ wide roadway. The base course on this section was completed by NMCB-11 and asphalt paving operations were begun by NMCB-5. Late in the deployment. structures completed on this section included a 276’ timber bridge and one
18” culvert with headwalls
NMCB-5 tackled its largest road upgrading project with National Route 9. Over 172,000 cubic yards of fill was moved in order to widen the roadway from Dong Ha to Cam Lo (10,000 meters) to a width of 24’. Structures on Route 9 included 7 steel I-beam timber deck bridges ranging from 24 to 74 feet and the installation of 42 culverts with concrete headwalls.
Due to the tactical situation, all construction on highways was delayed every morning until the road could be swept for mines. This usually caulsed a delay of 1 ½ to 2 hours each morning. Also all traffic was required to be off the roads by 1800. Construction materials used in the construction of bridges and culverts on Route 9 were obtained from the Project 972 storage yard, controlled by III MAF in Da Nang. Numerous problems were encountered in drawing materials from this storage yard due to a lack of communication between the material issuing personnel located in Dong Ha and the authorizing personnel located in Da Nang. The start of construction on two Route 9 bridges was delayed approximately two weeks due to this difficulty.
A piece of equipment which proved to be very useful, especially during the rainy season, was a tow grader borrowed especially for maintenance of Route 9 from the 11th Engineer Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps, located at Dong Ha. The grader was pulled by a TD 20 tractor and could be used to clean muddy ditches where a self-propelled grader could not work.