DVIDS – News – 652nd Engineer Company lays foundation for Wisconsin Freedom Park

For the second year in a row, units from the 416th Theater Engineer Command, which includes the 652nd Engineer Company of Hammond, Wisconsin, worked on the completion of the Freedom Park Trail and construction in New Richmond.

Work on the park and trail gave units the opportunity to continue a mission that began last year.

In 2021, the 612th Engineer Detachment Utilities from Duluth, Minnesota traveled to Freedom Park to import terrain materials to bring the yard up to standard with the correct terrain materials for construction.

“They took sloping ground and created flat ground at the right level for the building to be erected,” explained Major Michael Dyrdahl, operations officer for the 367th Engineer Battalion. “[They] also launched the Freedom Park Trail project, [which was] the 625 Multi-ridge Bridge Company [that] launched efforts for the first leg of the trail. The second phase was to go as far as possible on the Freedom Park Trail [and] completion was the goal, but weather is dependent as it gets muddy when it rains.

Dyrdahl added that in the past two months, about 75% to 80% of the trail has been completed and 100% of the footing, foundation, installation and building fill have been completed, which means that the footing and the foundation are in place and ready for the construction of the building.

“This [will be] an 18,000 square foot community building owned by veterans of foreign wars,” he said. “They own the land, the financing, the materials and the general contracting support. We provide the labor.

He added that the building will be used for various purposes by the VFW, American Legion and provide other services to the New Richmond community.

Dyrdahl said they plan to continue construction around mid-April 2023, which includes overseeing operations as well as construction. He said the first construction unit is expected to arrive around May 1 with an expected completion date of September 15, 2023.

“The first thing in spring is insoles that have to be dug out and poured,” Dyrdahl said. “We didn’t put them on this year because they are shallow soles, and the frost would have pushed them out and it was dangerous to do that this year. We will also trench for all the electrical and plumbing and then the wiring. Once this is done, we will pour the concrete floor and construction will ensue.

Although construction and completion of the trails takes three years, Dyrdahl said working with industry professionals is great experience for the soldiers and provides the unit with valuable engineering training working on a real project.

“I see it as a [chance to] improve our preparation [and] working with private partners for the latest and greatest best practices,” Dyrdahl said. “Our soldiers work with industry professionals, and [that] helps us sharpen our game and take us to the next level.

Date taken: 08.05.2022
Date posted: 08.05.2022 17:04
Story ID: 426675

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