San Francisco's Chinese Bridge

OVERKILL

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We didn't get much discussion (or as much as I would have liked to have seen) about this topic the last time it came up, so I'd like to bring it up again. Bridge comes to San Francisco with Made in China label
Quote:
At a sprawling manufacturing complex here, hundreds of Chinese laborers are now completing work on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Next month, the last four of more than two dozen giant steel modules — each with a roadbed segment about half the size of a football field — will be loaded onto a huge ship and transported 6,500 miles to Oakland. There, they will be assembled to fit into the eastern span of the new Bay Bridge. The project is part of China’s continual move up the global economic value chain — from cheap toys to Apple iPads to commercial jetliners — as it aims to become the world’s civil engineer.
*snip*
Quote:
In New York City alone, Chinese companies have won contracts to help renovate the subway system, refurbish the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River and build a new Metro-North train platform near Yankee Stadium. As with the Bay Bridge, American union labor would carry out most of the work done on United States soil.
and
Quote:
We wanted something strong and secure, but we also wanted something iconic,” said Bart Ney, a transportation department spokesman. A joint venture between two American companies, American Bridge and Fluor Enterprises, won the prime contract for the project in early 2006. Their bid specified getting much of the fabricated steel from overseas, to save money.
Yeah, nothing quite says "Iconic, strong and secure" like a Dollarama bridge......
Quote:
California decided not to apply for federal funding for the project because the “Buy America” provisos would probably have required purchasing more expensive steel and fabrication from United States manufacturers.
And that is just beautiful. An American state, intentionally avoiding applying for funding for its "project" to get around having to hire American companies to do the work. It is enough to make you sick to your stomach. And another nice one:
Quote:
The selection of the state-owned Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company was a surprise, though, because the company made port cranes and had no bridge building experience.
Yessir, not only was it out-sourced, but it was out-sourced to a company with ZERO bridge building experience! I wonder if they used leaded paint? And another beauty:
Quote:
“I don’t think the U.S. fabrication industry could put a project like this together,” Brian A. Petersen, project director for the American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises joint venture, said in a telephone interview. “Most U.S. companies don’t have these types of warehouses, equipment or the cash flow. The Chinese load the ships, and it’s their ships that deliver to our piers.”
Yeah, God forbid, I mean, Americans only created the infrastructure that is in place currently without China. Created the twin towers, the Golden Gate...... I'm sure they would be completely incapable of making something as complex as this.... Oh wait... Congratulations for getting drunk on the koolaid you freakin' moron! And if that isn't enough, here is what we are expected to compete against folks, this is what the government of California would rather spend your money on:
Quote:
Pan Zhongwang, a 55-year-old steel polisher, is a typical Zhenhua worker. He arrives at 7 a.m. and leaves at 11 p.m., often working seven days a week. He lives in a company dorm and earns about $12 a day.
SIXTEEN HOUR WORK DAYS, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK! At TWELVE DOLLARS A DAY!!! The race to the bottom is going full-tilt folks. Hang on.
 
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Old news. They won the deal because they have the cheapest price. I don't think the company who made these parts have never put a bridge together is an accurate statement. They are bridge parts manufacturer and the parts are inspected with xray (with bad weld fixed prior to installation). The reason they won and can put on such a low price? China needs lots of infra structure so they are going to build massive factory for these kind of things anyways, and sell us some parts when they already have to build bridge parts. Unfortunate that US parts are not used because they are still more expensive after the federal fund. The new bay bridge has been delayed for almost 20 years so either way it is good to have it finished soon.
 
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I posted about this bridge in the NPR link 2 weeks ago. Lets not forget that the Chinese bid $400,000,000 less than what the Americans could build it for. Thats a ton of cash saved whether we want to admit it or not. Lots of American labor union folks unhappy about those $12 a day Chinese workers putting them out of a job. Its gonna get very ugly in the next few years the way things are going.
 

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Panda, that is not what the article says. It says the company produces port cranes, but due to their facilities and because they owned their own ships, were contracted to build the bridge sections. Something they had no experience with (building bridges). I imagine the "American" (and I use that term loosely) company that is "organizing" this project (and did the out-sourcing) has rather extensive bridge building experience. But the company actually manufacturing the sections, does not.
 
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US really hasn't build too many bridges lately so you won't get the same economy of scale even if the labor cost is the same. When you build only 1 or 2 a year and your competitor build 100 a year, you will be a lot more expensive.
 

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Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
I posted about this bridge in the NPR link 2 weeks ago. Lets not forget that the Chinese bid $400,000,000 less than what the Americans could build it for. Thats a ton of cash saved whether we want to admit it or not. Lots of labor union folks unhappy about those $12 a day Chinese workers putting them out of work. Its gonna get very ugly in the next few years the way things are going.
You sure did, but we didn't get a whole lot of discussion over it, so I've brought it up again, as per the first part of my post. I think this really needs to be talked about. Regarding the pricing, of course 400,000,000 is a lot of money. But it is 400,000,000 on a 7,400,000,000 project. However, one must consider the COST of that 400,000,000. Which is buddy making $12/day on his 16/7 work schedule. That job going to what amounts to slave labour instead of Americans working reasonable hours and making livable wages. That is the difference between the first and third world folks. And now we are being sold out at the government level!
 
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Manufacturing here in America is dying a slow painful death..... so are many skilled blue collar jobs in manufacturing and construction. What about those 'shovel ready jobs' that will lift us up out of this pile of [censored] that were promised by that clown ? shrug
 
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you can talk about it all you want, but you can't do anything about it. the govt and big business control everything and will always get their way. ALWAYS.
 

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Pan Zhongwang works 16/7 at $12/day, lets draw up a bit of a comparison. A typical "work week" year comes out to 260 work days. At 8hrs, that is 2,080hrs a year for work. Average salary is 40,000 (roughly), meaning on average, the American populous makes $19/hr (before taxes). A typical "work week" year comes out to 365 days for Pan. At 16hrs, that is 5,840hrs a year for work. At $12/day, Pan is making $0.75/hr. Working EVERY day of the year, Pan would bring home $4380. This is our "competition" guys and gals. This is what we are up against.
 
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Is this the same China that recently opened its high-speed rail system and within 30 days or so had a really bad crash? Did they ever figure out (or admit to) the cause?
 

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Originally Posted By: mpvue
you can talk about it all you want, but you can't do anything about it. the govt and big business control everything and will always get their way. ALWAYS.
You CAN do something about it. But it involves getting together with people who share an opinion and DOING something about it. It is what voting is supposed to have accomplished, but Industry/Corporations owning the government at various levels seems to have stopped that part from working. Lobotomy anyone?
 
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The countries that have weathered the recessions since 2008 have been the ones whose economies have strong manufacturing sectors: - Germany; - France; - Brazil; - China. The countries that have not weathered it very well are the ones based on service industries: - Greece; - USA (mix); - Portugal; - Spain; - Italy (mix).
 
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Originally Posted By: opus1
Is this the same China that recently opened its high-speed rail system and within 30 days or so had a really bad crash? Did they ever figure out (or admit to) the cause?
The same signaling system is involved in a metro / subway crash in Shanghai. However it is a foreign / western made signal system, and it is likely the integration of the whole network (done by Chinese) that is at fault. It is not just the same as throwing parts together, but sufficient testing as well. The Bay Bridge is examined and put together by a large US builder so it should be pretty safe (knock on wood).
 

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Originally Posted By: PandaBear
Originally Posted By: opus1
Is this the same China that recently opened its high-speed rail system and within 30 days or so had a really bad crash? Did they ever figure out (or admit to) the cause?
The same signaling system is involved in a metro / subway crash in Shanghai. However it is a foreign / western made signal system, and it is likely the integration of the whole network (done by Chinese) that is at fault. It is not just the same as throwing parts together, but sufficient testing as well. The Bay Bridge is examined and put together by a large US builder so it should be pretty safe (knock on wood).
Weren't the toys with leaded paint in them sold by "reputable" American "manufacturers"? What about the poisoned pet food sold by "American brands". What about the toxic drywall? American companies are just as much at fault here for selling out their countrymen as the Chinese are for providing junk/toxic products. This "global economy" has a pretty bad aftertaste.
 
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I'd much rather pay a bit more to have it support North Americans (US and Canada, since they're tied at the hip economically and have very similar standards of living) instead of Chinese workers. It only benefits us instead of benefiting a foreign land that is opposed to our interests.
 
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Originally Posted By: sciphi
I'd much rather pay a bit more to have it support North Americans (US and Canada, since they're tied at the hip economically and have very similar standards of living) instead of Chinese workers. It only benefits us instead of benefiting a foreign land that is opposed to our interests.
Agreed. That $400m adds about $700m of value to the US through the multiplier effect. But that does not concern California because it realizes $400m savings in the state but the Californian portion of the $700m value is more difficult to calculate. A large chunk of that would have been in the steel manufacturing areas of the Steel Belt. But it's a free world and California has done whatever it wanted.
 

Al

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Originally Posted By: mpvue
you can talk about it all you want, but you can't do anything about it. the govt and big business control everything and will always get their way. ALWAYS.
If big business and Government was to blame here the Bridge would have been made here for $800,000,000 instead of 400,000,000 A lot of this money is borrowed from them anyways..why shouldn't they get the contract?
Originally Posted By: opus1
Is this the same China that recently opened its high-speed rail system and within 30 days or so had a really bad crash? Did they ever figure out (or admit to) the cause?
So because they had a train accident over there we shouldn't buy their stuff?? Shop as Walmart much??
 
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Originally Posted By: OVERK1LL
You sure did, but we didn't get a whole lot of discussion over it, so I've brought it up again, as per the first part of my post. I think this really needs to be talked about. Regarding the pricing, of course 400,000,000 is a lot of money. But it is 400,000,000 on a 7,400,000,000 project. However, one must consider the COST of that 400,000,000. Which is buddy making $12/day on his 16/7 work schedule. That job going to what amounts to slave labour instead of Americans working reasonable hours and making livable wages. That is the difference between the first and third world folks. And now we are being sold out at the government level!
I agree. That $400 million "savings" comes at a bigger cost and loss to the US economy. It will be subsidized through increased unemployment, lost taxes etc. Talk about a scheme. And who knows what the quality of the bridge might be and it's real long-term costs. It's a bad thing. What's next, Chinese workers come over and replace other workers in other fields? Maybe chinese Drs., computer programers, the possiblities are endless! And we'll "save" lot's of money except we want ahve any jobs or money. I thinking this decision is intentionally trying to put Americans out of work and out of business.
 
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Originally Posted By: Al
....So because they had a train accident over there we shouldn't buy their stuff?? Shop as Walmart much??
When a Sharpie marker leaking in my briefcase kills as many people as a train-wreck, we'll talk. Straw-man much?
 
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