A reworked Bay Bridge opens in California

Posted by mmcmullan on 09/03/2013

There’s big news out in California today: The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s eastern span, years late and a few billion dollars over budget, is open and the traffic is flowing.

We’re sure that Bay Area commuters are happy to see the construction end. But despite the cost and time overruns, we at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) think they would have been even happier to have seen the bridge – an iconic image of northern California – Made In America.

In an effort to keep costs down (which, at a total cost of $6.4 billion, didn’t happen anyway) then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent construction work on the refurbished portion of the bridge’s most critical feature – its span – to China. He eschewed federal money and the Buy American strings attached to it to do so.

We thought that was a pretty weak move by the governator, and even bought billboards to say so. And while this battle is over and done with, there are others coming down the pike...or in this case, the interstate. When New York puts a seal of approval on the reconstruction plans for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (part of I-278) that connects Staten Island to Brooklyn across the mouth of New York Harbor, will the state eschew American steelmakers in favor of government-subsidized manufacturers in China?

We hope not! But we’ll be watching, just in case. 

Photo by Flickr user avrene, used following Creative Commons guidelines.

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