Alaskan manufacturers, workers outraged by potential “Made in China” railroad bridge

Posted by Anonymous on 09/07/2011

Last week we wrote about the Tanana River Bridge Crossing project in Alaska, a federally funded initiative that stands to  spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a bridge made from foreign materials that will largely be fabricated overseas.

The project, which is part of the Alaska Railroad Corporation’s Northern Rail Extension, is a flagrant example of the weakness in our domestic procurement laws. These laws, commmonly called Buy America laws, aim to ensure that as many American-made goods and materials are used as possible when taxpayer dollars are spent on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects.

Unfortunately, the Alaska Railroad Company seems to care more about its bottom line than the job creating and economy boosting power of Buy America laws.  The company is trying to cut corners rather than utilizing American-made materials for the Tanana Bridge project.

The National Steel Bridge Alliance calls the potential sourcing of foreign materials by the Alaska Railroad Company “an outrageous abuse of taxpayer funds” and has criticized the company for considering the use of federal dollars “to support the steel industry overseas for this important national security project when [they] could be providing jobs for our citizens.”

And the National Steel Bridge Alliance isn’t the only group outraged by the possibility of a foreign sourced Alaskan bridge-- the Alaska Iron Workers recently launched a radio ad reminding listeners that “this is not the time to send more jobs to China” and urging Alaskans to contact the Governor’s office and their congressional and state representatives and “ask them to tell Alaksa Rail Road to hire American workers.”

Click below to listen to the full radio ad:


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