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Welding material of different thickness

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I have a project that requires new stanchions to be mounted to existing roof
members. In designing the project we called for bolted connections. The
stanchion has a 1/2" thicj base plate.

In several locations, the stanchion lands on a member with an extremely
thick splice plate of 3". Unfortunately, the stanchion cannot be relocated.
The installation contractor proposed a welded connection in this location
instead of a bolted connection.  I indicated that I did not beleive they
would be able to get good penetration in the thicker plate, and that a joint
like this would generally require pre-heating the thicker plate. The
installer is adamant that it can be done in the field.

Does anyone know of specific AISC, or AWS guidelines that permit, or
prohibit joints such as this? Additionally, do you think this can be
reasonably accomplished?
David P. Evangelista, PE
Evan Corp.