New San Francisco Bay Bridge nears completion


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New San Francisco Bay Bridge nears completion.

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2 comments

  • Art Harman

    Nice bridge, Bob! The shame of it is this new ‘American’ icon was manufactured with Chinese labor. Sure the assembly was American, but how many thousands of Americans could have been employed if we just used American companies to make the parts? Let’s hope they didn’t use counterfeit bolts and sub-standard steel.

    Sure its cheaper to outsource; you may have read this week how Disney got busted for sweatshop labor making their toys, and everyone knows of Apple’s sweatshops. It’s probably the same or worse for their steelworkers, and of course there are no labor/safety/wage/pollution laws to make the ‘China price’ fair and competitive with American workers.

    This is why our economy, so hollowed out by outsourcing, has such great troubles recovering: the skilled jobs aren’t there like they used to be. Recoveries don’t come from hiring more people to sell Chinese junk to each other, you gotta MAKE stuff, THAT produces national wealth and that is the point the Chinese learned from our incredible success in the 20th century. Result; their economy is prospering while ours slides towards second-rate status.

    This is the revealing quote the article didn’t think to expand upon: “On Sunday, the four final pieces of the span’s 28-piece deck arrived from Shanghai.”

  • I agree that it seems odd that Caltrans couldn’t find an American company to make the deck sections, but government contracts are let to the lowest bidder. It wold be instructive to find out if American companies are allowed to bid on Chinese government contracts.

    It’s true that to add value to raw material you have to make something useful out of it. But the Western world decided long ago that making things was dirty and smelly and just generally icky. And if hurts the environment. Far better to ship all that undesirable industry across the world where it can pollute someone else’s environment. Out of sight, out of mind; but we still need the products. .

    The Wikipedia entry on the biridge notes that the bridge has been under construction since 2002, and if it meets the projected openening date in 2013, it will be six years behind schedule. The construction time of the original Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge combined was seven years.

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