Chinese Firm Wins Low Bid On Repairing California Bridge and Then Forces Millions in Repairs On Its Repairs

220px-San_Francisco_-_Oakland_Bay_Bridge_At_NightChina's flagWe 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.

49 thoughts on “Chinese Firm Wins Low Bid On Repairing California Bridge and Then Forces Millions in Repairs On Its Repairs”

  1. I am amazed that the state would buy anything from China. Why wouldn’t a preference be given to domestic sources for the work? Were any palms greased to get this contract? Is the state going after this company to pay for their negligence and ineptitude?

  2. Oftentimes, low bid = cheap = outrageous lifetime costs.

    Cheap can be ok for some commodities, i.e. toilet paper, mulch, pencils, etc. When lives hang in the balance, as in bridges, cheap is never good.

    1. A good example is the difference when the Golden Gate bridge and the Bay Bridge were built. The Golden Gate had union contractors, and I believe was built with near zero fatalities. The Bay bridge was not and had many deaths. So at least SF was keeping with tradition on the Bay Bridge. I was also in SF when the big one hit and collapsed part of the Bay Bridge and the Nimitz Freeway.

  3. Queen Hillary was quite paunchy in that pant suit. She’s going to have to drop 25-30lbs. or stop w/ the pantsuits. High waist long dresses, covering the middle and those enormous calves.

  4. This is nothing new. The South Texas Nuclear Project was given to Brown and Root which had never built a nuclear power plant. They so botched the job, that ALL of what they had constructed had to be destroyed by the contractor, Bechtel, who took over the project. We rate payers wound up paying double the amount for this. Bechtel had the higher bid, but the dummies who ran the project took Brown and Root despite their total lack of competence. Brown and Root also murdered a whistle blower who exposed the fraud. They also got away with murder.

    1. randyjet – could you back up your clam that Brown and Root murdered a whistle blower and got away with it?

  5. Come on Isaac. Look at China. People can always try to move there if they love “Centralized Government & Control”. Many of us “Libertarians” see a place for limited government with defined powers & responsibilities as defined in our Constitution. There are different shades of gray and viewpoints within any political viewpoint. Anything can be carried too far and nobody should be labeled just because they are more closely aligned with some principles within a political system.

  6. Nick,

    I’m afraid if I post any more of this crap (and there’s more), someone might actually jump off a bridge and end it.

  7. Glen

    Hillary Clinton’s response to Chinese contracts in the USA. Angry, very angry……About Bill.

    The wrong-wing nuts (a.k.a. right-wing nuts) invented ANGRY, now having killed more Americans since 9-11 than foreign terrorists have (Empty Wheel). Imagine their “work ethic” when Hill becomes preznit.

  8. Hard as it is to do it … I make a point of never buying a product made in China!

  9. We have had a similar situation here in Washington State with poor decision making amongst our elected officials and the powers that oversea construction within this state.

  10. Hillary Clinton’s response to Chinese contracts in the USA. Angry, very angry……About Bill.

  11. The Republican administration in California refused billions offered from the Obama administration to build the new bridge. Instead they contracted a Chinese firm to build the bridge in sections in China and ship them to the Bay Area for assembly. The lower price ended up costing billions more than contracted for and taking longer. These repairs are a direct result of right wing governments refusal to work with the central government in Washington. Also many of the parts were fabricated in the US, a bone thrown to US workers. Many of these parts failed due to poor oversight. The Oakland/SF bridge is a scandal. If you want to see a success story visit France and take a look at the Millau Bridge – the highest in the world. Designed by Norman Foster a Brit and built by the French, it is a masterpiece of engineering and efficiency brought in under budget, on time and by a strong centralized government. So, don’t tread on me and let me arm up, do it my own way, by myself, armed to the teeth.

    1. isaac – having trouble connecting the contract to Republicans. I can find it connected to Caltrans, though.

  12. Glen:

    Chinese cyber espionage is HUGE. It has been decimating small companies, as well as some large profile ones.

    The smaller firms do not have the resources to fight.

  13. Here in CA, all you have to say is “it’s Green!” or “it’s for the environment!” to get a mindless rubber stamp of approval. Never mind if it is not ACTUALLY environmentally friendly, costs 4 times as much as stated, and does nothing to reduce tailpipe emissions because it does nothing for gridlock!

    Seriously. How many of those people stuck on the freeway in LA are commuting daily to SF?

  14. Paul:

    The bullet train! Don’t remind me! A bullet that has to be reloaded 4 times, for a vacation train to San Francisco that costs billions, been proven to have shockingly inflated projected ridership, have a net increase in pollution, and will do ZERO to fix our potholed, gridlocked streets.

    It is projected to cost almost as much as a plain flight, and will take hours longer because you have to change trains several times. What’s not to like?

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