Afghanistan Infrastructure and Rehabilitation Services Program(IRP) written in English, Dari and Pashto
Keshim-Faizabad Road, looking upstream on Kotcha River Schoolgirls at well pumping clean water Afghan workers building part of a bridge Asphalt being laid on an Afghan road A section of North West Kabul Power Plant Aerial view of the Kajakai Dam

IRP Salutes Jim Myers: Builder of Afghanistan’s Kabul to Kandahar Highway
Sitting at a desk is Jim Myers, Chief of Party for USAID's Kabul to Kandahar Highway and pioneer in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Jim Myers, Chief of Party for USAID's Kabul to Kandahar Highway project and pioneer in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
It is with great sadness that the Afghanistan Infrastructure and Rehabilitation Program team recognizes the passing of a pioneer in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. James S. Myers, a retired Senior Engineer and 40-year employee of the Louis Berger Group (LBG), died on May 13, 2010.

Although Mr. Myers had decades of experience in challenging environments, it was not until 2001 that he received perhaps the toughest assignment of his career. He was 67 and semi-retired when Fred Berger, LBG’s chairman, then a senior vice president, called him to ask if he would be willing to travel to Afghanistan, to oversee the firm’s early assignments in the country.

In 2003, Myers became Chief of Party for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Kabul to Kandahar Highway project, which resulted from the U.S. Government’s commitment to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan people to reconstruct National Highway 1, or the “Ring Road,” in eight months.

As The Wall Street Journal described it, “Mr. Myers had the White House breathing down his neck, the Taliban terrorizing his workers and miles of asphalt to lay before he could rest.“

The road was delivered two weeks ahead of the White House’s schedule.

In 2006, when Jim’s work in Afghanistan was complete and he prepared to leave the country, Afghan President Hamid Karzai awarded him the Ghazi Mir Masjidi High State Prize for his contributions to the country; Jim not only rebuilt much of the country’s infrastructure but he also was dedicated to training the nascent Afghan construction and engineering industry to build and maintain Afghanistan’s road network.

“Jim Myers was known for his willingness to take on the toughest jobs, in the most challenging environments and to make sure they were done right,” said Larry D. Walker, LBG’s president. “We are grateful to have worked with a man of such engineering brilliance, tenacity and dedication; his legacy will be remembered by many for a long time to come."

 

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