Photo: Kanaka Menehune
The last four steel modules for a new 2.2-mile span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge are being loaded onto a ship in Shanghai today, and should arrive in about three weeks, Bloomberg reports.These last few segments will join the 24 already in place to form the new East Span of the bridge, which will replace a section of the bridge damaged in the 1989 earthquake. Construction on the new span cost $6.4 billion and is set to be completed in 2013.
The outsourcing of the bridge’s construction to Shanghai Zhenhua, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed China Communications Construction Co., reportedly saved the state of California about $400 million.
Cate Long, a blogger at Reuters, argues that the U.S. economy will never recover if American companies and public utilities continue to outsource infrastructure projects overseas. She writes on the MuniLand blog:
“In times of fiscal stress it’s easy to understand why public entities are trying hard to cut costs. But this ‘cost cutting’ is really just off-shoring American jobs. Something has to give — we can’t recover without creating American jobs. It’s our choice, and I choose spending more and creating jobs at home.”
Shanghai Zhenhua claims that it will not be making a huge profit on the bridge’s construction, and that its real goal is to gain expertise in a new field. As the video below by Bloomberg shows, Chinese companies in recent years have demonstrated a fast-growing facility in making the longest and strongest bridges in the world.
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