EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) -- It's a new and improved way of building bridges for soldiers in the field and it's no easy task: News 8 caught up with national guardsmen in East Lyme who were undergoing some intensive training to learn how to put together the portable span.
The 250th Engineer Company out of New London is doing some brand new bridge building at Stone's Ranch in East Lyme.
"Basically it comes in sections like you see here and it's all fed by the crane, which is up on the truck right now," said SSG Steve London, 250th Engineer Co.
The dry support bridge will replace the medium girder bridge the troops used to use. News 8 was told that one took at least 30 people who had to carry the girders and could take a day and a half to build.
This particular one takes just an hour and a half and uses eight people. The crane and hydraulics do all the heavy lifting.
"I think this is awesome," said Lt. Steven Schlusemeyer, 250th Engineer Co. "It's new equipment, less manpower more machine work, and it's also quicker to put in place."
Representatives of WFEL, the British company supplying the $5 million span were present to train the trainers.
"It's a pretty complex bridge," said London, "there are a lot of steps to it."
The bridges are completely portable. They can be broken down, placed on pallets on the back of a truck and driven away.
The bridge can be built up to 40 meters long in remote areas.
"It's a bridge that you would put in to get your troops across the gap," London said. "If you had to get soldiers, a tank across, or equipment across this is the bridge you would use."
It is also a bridge which can provide a temporary fix if a bridge is knocked out by a storm.
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