Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(SFGate)   You are CalTrans and your SF Bay Bridge reconstruction is months behind schedule because of faulty Chinese bridge panel welds. Do you: C) Not renew the contract of the inspectors you hired who reported the problem?   (sfgate.com ) divider line
    More: Asinine  
•       •       •

8605 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Jan 2009 at 1:46 AM (7 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



111 Comments     (+0 »)
 


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2009-01-25 10:59:28 PM  
I wonder why us citizens cant find jobs,,,getting bridge steel from China?
 
2009-01-25 11:04:33 PM  
Are there no ironworkers/welders in SF?
 
2009-01-25 11:11:31 PM  

Meet Us at the Stick: Are there no ironworkers/welders in SF?


It's cheaper to have it built in China and shipped here on a super freighter. The Walmart mentality if you will.
 
2009-01-26 12:06:45 AM  
queezyweezel: It's cheaper to have it built in China and shipped here on a super freighter. Do it twice and get paid even more for doing it right the second time.
 
2009-01-26 01:53:49 AM  
just sad
 
2009-01-26 01:56:14 AM  
I think there's a whistle blower lawsuit in the making.

I remember watching a Discovery Channel program about the construction of Twisting Tower near Copenhagen. They had major steel components welded together in Spain. The welds had to be redone on site because they were junk. It's not a matter of location. Going with the lowest bidder can still cost a lot more.
 
2009-01-26 01:56:36 AM  
As someone who takes BART around the Bay Area instead of driving, I'm really getting a... rate hike out of this...
 
2009-01-26 01:57:25 AM  

queezyweezel: Meet Us at the Stick: Are there no ironworkers/welders in SF?

It's cheaper to have it built in China and shipped here on a super freighter. The Walmart mentality if you will.


Can the US even fabricate stuff anymore?
 
2009-01-26 02:03:07 AM  
"Here contract for City Bridge Panel."

You sign now!

z.about.com
 
2009-01-26 02:05:42 AM  

Meet Us at the Stick: Are there no ironworkers/welders in SF?


i67.photobucket.com

Hot stuff coming through!
 
2009-01-26 02:06:49 AM  
Considering the top quality toys, pet foods and milk products China has produced over the past year, I see no reason to doubt the quality or integrity of their bridge work.
 
2009-01-26 02:07:47 AM  
Caltrans and others in charge of the bridge construction say the welds are safe and that fixes have been made - but also say the inspectors interpreted the welding standards too rigidly.

Beautiful. Because Tony Soprano's second cousin says cracked metal ain't such a bad thing, then the inspectors must be stupid. Sure, just spot weld those cracks right there so nobody can see 'em.

"It'll be fine" . . . . as long as we get this done and our paychecks before we're fired, sued and the bridge needs another ungodly expensive fix.
 
2009-01-26 02:12:25 AM  

Have You Met Miss Jones: As someone who takes BART around the Bay Area instead of driving, I'm really getting a... rate hike bullet in the back out of this...


FTFY
 
2009-01-26 02:16:56 AM  
"But we're concerned about being on schedule because we are racing against the next earthquake."

An article with both covering up cracked welds and concerns about earthquakes spoken by the same government official from SF.

Hmm...
 
2009-01-26 02:17:41 AM  

Jacques Lestrap: Considering the top quality toys, pet foods and milk products China has produced over the past year, I see no reason to doubt the quality or integrity of their bridge work.


Their bridge work can't be worse than it is in the UK.
 
2009-01-26 02:17:46 AM  
Caltrans and others in charge of the bridge construction say the welds are safe and that fixes have been made - but also say the inspectors interpreted the welding standards too rigidly.

"I didn't do it, and you have no proof!"
 
2009-01-26 02:17:57 AM  

NickelP: I wonder why us citizens cant find jobs,,,getting bridge steel from China?


The chinaman is not the issue here!
 
2009-01-26 02:18:09 AM  
As someone who has travelled across the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis once or twice, I'm really getting a kick...
 
2009-01-26 02:18:54 AM  
Alright, so someone made the decision to use cheap Chinese steel and overseas labor. That's not such a big deal. Happens all the time.

But in a life or death situation, these things need to be inspected. The failed ones need to be tossed, and the good ones kept. If the total cost of the project outsourced and cheaply done exceeds the cost of doing it right, well, do it right.

Of course, its easier to just hide the fact that its outsourced and cheaply done, even if it costs lives. That's why when the bridge fails and they say it hasn't been inspected since these people were not re-hired, charge them with murder.
 
2009-01-26 02:20:33 AM  
newsimg.bbc.co.uk

Hmm...
 
2009-01-26 02:21:47 AM  

haemaker: Caltrans and others in charge of the bridge construction say the welds are safe and that fixes have been made - but also say the inspectors interpreted the welding standards too rigidly.

"I didn't do it, and you have no proof!"


There should be no need or room for any interpretation in any engineering related
 
2009-01-26 02:22:30 AM  
Caltrans and others in charge of the bridge construction say the welds are safe and that fixes have been made - but also say the inspectors interpreted the welding standards too rigidly.

I see that carnifderome has already quoted this statement, but my question is, can you interpret welding standards too rigidly?
Seriously, if it's as basic as cracks in the welds, that's not really interpretation, it's either go or no-go, good or bad, or am I wrong here?
 
2009-01-26 02:24:48 AM  

He_Hate_Me: Hot stuff coming through!


I would think the most appropriate Simpsons quote would be:

Skinner: [pats a ramp, causing the entire system to crumble to the ground; picks up some rubble] My God, the whole thing's made of breadsticks!
[Seagulls start eating the remains of the ramps]

Fat Tony: And paint and shellac. It's all itemized in this bill. [hands Skinner an invoice on which is written "Two Hundred G's Thank You! Tony :)"]

Skinner: $200,000?! Are you mad?!
Fat Tony: I don't get mad; I get stabby.
 
2009-01-26 02:25:54 AM  

He_Hate_Me: Meet Us at the Stick: Are there no ironworkers/welders in SF?

Hot stuff coming through!


That is one thousand wins for you.
 
2009-01-26 02:27:43 AM  

helioquake: Hmm...


This. You'd think that less than two years after a major bridge collapse in this country, people would learn to take their structural integrity seriously.
 
2009-01-26 02:28:24 AM  
"That is the role of the inspectors, to identify issues and problems," Kempton said. "When these issues are raised, we have to deal with them, and that's what we did."

And while "yes, we did modify the acceptance criteria" for the welded bridge sections, Kempton said, "we developed what we think are acceptable standards."


Ah, good old CalTrans.

Welcome to the Golden State--if you can find a highway that doesn't have a temporary (permanent) bypass. And it's just gonna get better without a budget.

Oh, well. At least I'll know where NOT to drive in the future.
 
2009-01-26 02:31:23 AM  
The new bridge is going to be the longest one in the world! It's gonna go from fairyland to africa.

/had to do it
 
2009-01-26 02:32:44 AM  

Yoeman: Caltrans and others in charge of the bridge construction say the welds are safe and that fixes have been made - but also say the inspectors interpreted the welding standards too rigidly.

I see that carnifderome has already quoted this statement, but my question is, can you interpret welding standards too rigidly?
Seriously, if it's as basic as cracks in the welds, that's not really interpretation, it's either go or no-go, good or bad, or am I wrong here?


You're absolutely right to be concerned. Any crack is bad because they grow, and when you find one you suspect others. Political expediency is too common on state projects, and I've worked on a few. Just follow the money trail from the contractors to the state capital.
 
2009-01-26 02:37:29 AM  
I'm starting to think it's a good thing that my agency transferred me to the office on the same side of the bridge as my house.
 
2009-01-26 02:40:10 AM  
i love incompetence.
 
2009-01-26 02:40:47 AM  
The new bridge makes me happy we still have the trans-bay tube.

this whole f*cking thing is suck a mess.

CalTrans sucks.
 
2009-01-26 02:41:58 AM  

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: The new bridge makes me happy we still have the trans-bay tube.

this whole f*cking thing is suck a mess.

CalTrans sucks.


I blame CalTrans for not having an 'edit' button on Fark
 
2009-01-26 02:48:36 AM  
sounds like acceptable modern business ethics
 
2009-01-26 02:53:40 AM  
Yoeman

There should be no need or room for any interpretation in any engineering related

Background: I'm taking my PE (licensing) exam in April. I have no college background, and have earned the right to take the exam by experience.

It's amazing how much interpretation there really is when it comes to engineering. Yes, some things are fairly set in stone - "You must use THIS wind load, and THIS seismic design coefficient".. but there are a lot of things that require a lot of interpretation, or judgement calls. That's why even when you graduate college as a PhD in engineering you still (usually) have to take the licensing exam - the worst licensed engineer I have ever seen was a PhD, and he had no concept of the realities of design.

Take a simple, steel building used at a school: Is it considered a moment frame, special moment frame or cantilevered columns? Each of those has completely different and wildly varied design requirements, and yet in the end might look almost identical.

ok, it's a school. Design requires a safety factor of .15% above normal design safety factor (which varies somewhat depending on material and design methodology). Now say you have a beam, that checks at the 15% value, under normal loading - but the beam is in the gym room, and will have a sign hanging from it. Sign weight is covered as a load under code, but how much (if any) do you add to account for darwin candidates that hang from the sign?

Inspections can vary as well. Were the inspectors required to inspect every connection? 10%? 5%? If they were required to inspect 5%, inspected 10% and found problems with 5 out of 1000 they inspected, is it reasonable to throw them all out? Do they even call for inspections of every other weld? Does the problem weaken the connection, or eliminate the connection? Is there enough redundancy to account for the issue?

At my office, there's a "old english proverb" posted:

"Structural Engineering is the art of molding materials we do not entirely understand into shapes we cannot precisely analyze so as to withstand forces we cannot really assess, in such a way that the community at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance. "
 
2009-01-26 02:54:01 AM  
Isn't Cali the state in massive deficit"? Yeah, they could have used some unionized coffee pushin American company to do up the parts in question but really, who's going to pay for that?

Either jack the taxes and get the quality, or try to fix the problems on the cheap. Trying to get quality made labor intensive materials done in western countries for a level headed price is a pipe dream.

Which is good. Because if we ever see Americans pounding steel for 7$ an hour again, everything has gone horribly wrong :)
 
2009-01-26 02:55:05 AM  
My bad.. I misattributed the quote to Yoeman instead of CommieSalami. Sorry about that.
 
2009-01-26 02:57:17 AM  

Trik: sounds like acceptable modern business ethics


Also, I foresee lawsuits on the horizon against the inspectors for pointing out the flaws.
Many lawsuits, and some will be how the inspectors damaged CalTrans and the Chinese welders self esteem
 
2009-01-26 02:57:56 AM  
FTA: "But we're concerned about being on schedule because we are racing against the next earthquake."


"Be Quiet! The less time you have the more important it is to use it wisely" - Captain Avatar
 
2009-01-26 03:01:31 AM  

Commiesalami:

There should be no need or room for any interpretation in any engineering related a coca cola bottle.



FTFY

I commuted over the bay bridge for three years and am still surprised that I survived. I have seen station wagons sideways in my rear view mirror - gaining on me. Two flipped cars, and a furniture truck on fire on the shoulder of the lower deck. Things you wouldn't believe.

My all-time favorite though was when I was working in LA. One afternoon I was passed by a single wheel on the Hollywood freeway in Burbank. Just a nice steel wheel with a jauntily inflated tire, going happily about its business at 65 mph.

/people out here are idiots
 
2009-01-26 03:04:03 AM  
Caltrans accidentally the whole new Bay Bridge
 
2009-01-26 03:10:38 AM  
US made quality did never impress, so it was easy to replace it with Chinese quality levels. Now most of the world is Chinese quality....
When cost alone decides what can we expect?
More for less, calculated obsolescence, shorter lifetime, no serviceability, increased consumption, more trash etc. etc.
China is helping capitalism commit suicide and the US is buying it!
 
2009-01-26 03:11:24 AM  
Maybe the fact that some Chinese steel is lighter than iron (new window) could be a problem?
 
2009-01-26 03:13:02 AM  

Have You Met Miss Jones: As someone who takes BART around the Bay Area instead of driving, I'm really getting a... rate hike out of this...


At least it aint a bullet in the back, oh wait....
 
2009-01-26 03:15:31 AM  
FTA
"This is not a fly-by-night operation, and they couldn't command that kind of market share if they were putting out a shoddy product"

This is the kind of 'logic' that is just plain stupid.

They have a process for determining if the product is shoddy or not- inspections.

Not to mention you can command market share by supplying something other than quality product, such as CHEAP(inexpensive) product.
 
2009-01-26 03:18:13 AM  
It's SF, who fkn cares. Hhahahahahahaahahahahaha!
 
2009-01-26 03:23:10 AM  

YupThazMe: Yoeman: Caltrans ... Political expediency ...


Political expediency, Caltrans, Ha! Well, I taken it you haven't driven on the 205 in the past 20 years.
/I don't think they'll ever finish it...
//But the outsourced to a private firm
//sections of 99 are damn near done in less than a year
 
2009-01-26 03:30:38 AM  
helioquake:

while that is obvious, i think that being san francisco, this is more important

earthquake.usgs.gov

results of the 89 Loma Prieta quake in the Bay Area
 
2009-01-26 03:30:43 AM  
As a Non-Destructive Test inspector for the DoD I'm not inspecting something that someone is making a profit off of so I don't have to worry about someone changing my acceptance standard in the middle of my job because the workmanship was crap and they want me to buy it off anyway. But if your working for someplace thats trying to turn a profit and your finding and rejecting things with the presure of production on your ass, I would imagine that its a pretty big flaw with the welds and the process in general..It sounds like they are using Sheerwave ultrasonic inspections which is a volumetric inspection and your can find stuff like slag the welders didnt take out of the weld before putting more weld on top or cracks, all kinds of crap. It doesnt mention the use of any surface inspections like a Magnetic Partical test..which if the ultra sonic test is coming back that bad, I can only imagaine how horrible the surface would be.. So I think I would want to stay off that bridge..
/Don't go near the big clock tower in downtown san diego during an earthquake
 
Ral
2009-01-26 03:32:49 AM  
California
Asshats
Lazily
Trying
Roads
And
Not
Succeeding
 
2009-01-26 03:33:28 AM  
The same CalTrans who closes 101 for maintenance and then fails to place detour signs on the surface streets so you know how to get back on past the construction zone.
 
Displayed 50 of 111 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Newest | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter








In Other Media
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report