A California Senate report on the construction of the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge raises questions about the quality of workmanship used to build the $6.3 billion span.
The report released Wednesday by the state Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee contains testimony from engineers questioning the durability of welds on bridge pieces produced in China and the integrity of large bolts.
Investigators found that California Department of Transportation managers dismissed concerns from quality-assurance experts that the Chinese firm hired to do key bridge welds lacked the experience to meet standards.
James Merrill, an engineer who oversaw weld inspections in China, told investigators his staff found hundreds of weld cracks that led to severe construction delays. The firm was later replaced.
Caltrans declined comment on the report’s findings.
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