We have been following the never-ending scandals involving Chinese products and foods that have proven dangerous due to contamination or shoddy quality. That reputation did not however prevent California officials from hiring a Chinese firm with no experience with bridges to repair the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The Chinese firm underbid the competitors by an amazing $250 million and a promise finish the repairs in record time. If it sounds too good to be true, it was. The state has now spent millions repairing the shoddy repairs of Chinese company Zhenhua Port Machinery, which also caused delays through poor decision making.
The Sacramento Bee has detailed the problems including the decision of these state to hand over more money to the Shanghai-based company as a “speed incentive.” In the meantime, two engineers who worked on the project said that they were reassigned after voice concerns over the shoddy work. This included faulty tack welds, which hold in place steel parts in preparation for final welds. The tack welds cracked and the cracks often remained underneath the final welds.
It is curious that the contract would be awarded solely on the lowest bid when the company lacks experience in bridge repairs. It is equally bizarre that more money was paid to this company after failing to meet its promised performance.