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Supporting Domestic Steel and Domestic Jobs
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM.

The National Steel Bridge Alliance recently issued detailed statements outlining its objections to a New York Times article, “Bridge Comes to San Francisco With A Made-In-China Label,” and related projects that plan to use federally provided funding to purchase foreign steel and off-shore fabrication. NSBA and AISC encourage the steel community to take action on this issue and contact their local representatives at


Read NSBA’s Letter to the Editor submission in response to the article, in the July edition of NSBA’s newsletter, here.


NSBA also recently issued a press release on Alaska Railroad Corporation’s (ARRC) similar abuse of federal funds for the $190 million Tanana River crossing project, which you can access here.


NSBA’s public statements have garnered significant feedback from those in the structural design and construction industry, supporting the organization’s efforts to use U.S. steel and labor on domestic projects.


For example, NSBA recently received a letter from Roumen V. Mladjov, S.E., P.E., Louie International. Here are some excerpts from his letter [Note: The letter expresses the views of the author and are not the words of NSBA]:


…The decision to contract the suspension part of the new East Span of the Bay Bridge to China was wrong and cannot be excused. There is a passage in the article that deserves more attention – ‘“I do not think the U.S. fabrication industry could put a project like this together,’ Brian A. Petersen, project director for American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises.” I do not know if Mr. Petersen has made this statement, but when The New York Times publishes it, it is a very big offense for the American steel industry and for all our great predecessors in bridge design and construction.


The New East Span Bay Bridge (San Francisco-Oakland) is one of the worst projects in the country. It is not only the most expensive bridge in the world (the March 2011 report estimates the cost will reach $6.45 B), but is also one with the slowest construction. The current estimate is for completion at the end of 2013, or 12 years of construction.


In 1936 American Bridge Company built the original Bay Bridge (suspension spans, tunnel and east span) for three years and seven months, and today, in 2011, Caltrans needs 12 years to build one half of the easier part of the same bridge with all the benefits of the most advanced construction technology.

One of the secondary, but very dangerous, results from the Bay Bridge case is that engineers and builders are getting disinterested in working on bridges. Not only has a huge amount of money, time, human and equipment involvement been used for this bridge, but we have lost a golden opportunity to demonstrate to ourselves and to the world engineering community that Americans still are able and can build great bridges…





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