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Re: Bay Bridge's troubled China connection

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Did anyone else's head explode about two paragraphs into this article?

So Cal Tran paid the underachieving company that was not producing
acceptable welds extra money to hurry up and do a crappy job, faster? To
the point where any money they additionally may have saved got wasted on
what appears to be a much inferior and questionable product?

Also, looks like Caltrans needs a whistle-blower reward program that would
encourage these engineers to sound the alarms when this kind of malfeasance
is occurring and is wasting taxpayer money and safety.

*As the project wound down, ZPMC reaped tangible rewards, sharing with ABF
more than $250 million in cost overruns and incentive payments.*

*Counting the money spent on travel and living costs for Caltrans and its
contractors, the suspension span consumed much more than the $250 million
in ZPMC’s assumed efficiencies that made the Chinese steel so

Read more here:

Not being a bridge guy, I don't see a lot of bridge deck systems being
constructed with steel anymore. Was this system chosen because much of it
could be pre-fabricated off site?

Finally, since large government infrastructures are an investment in OUR
economy, why not reap all the benefits of such expenditures and keep most
of the work in the USA where you can directly supervise quality and use
only companies with a lot of US experience building super complex

Also, I have read many studies where every dollar spent on public
construction projects equates to about $5-$7 in local economic activity.
For a state hit very hard by the recession, why not keep all those tax
dollars in the state or country even if it costs a bit more UP FRONT.
Obviously, this one cost them a lot more down the road.

"You get what you pay for" seems to sum up this whole debacle.

On Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 11:22 AM, Steve Gordin <sgordin(--nospam--at)>

> Dear Dr. Astaneh-Asl,
> Thank you for being on top of this issue.
> Assuming the article is accurate, this is really bad.
> This is politics at its worst - the ends justify the means.  How can this
> be allowed to go on for years - on broad daylight? How can lawyers and
> politicians control - and disregard - the safety of the public so
> blatantly?
> Even without any professional considerations, don't these guys have any
> conscience or shame? Will anybody be held responsible - ever?
> Thanks again,
> ______________________________
> V. Steve Gordin PhD
> Licensed Structural Engineer
> SGE Consulting Structural Engineers
> 2081 Business Center Drive #105
> Irvine CA 92612

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