2006/05/15

Of Concrete and Favoritism

The long sorry saga of the San Francisco Bay Bridge is a cautionary tale about how government is not supposed to work. It's a case study of favortism in Sacramento that started with 3 years of rebuilding for L.A.'s freeways after the Northridge quake and may end 17 years after the Loma Prieta quake with the completion of the Bay Bridge's Eastern Span...or maybe it won't.

News reports in the San Francisco Chronicle have exposed Pacific Cement, a now defunct company accused of supplying substandard concrete to many Bay Area projects including the retrofit of the Bay Bridge and new work on it's western approaches. We better hope that Caltrans dismissed this company before they did any major work on the new Eastern Span, or once again the Bay Area will find itself screwed--waiting many additional years for California to get the seismically unsound span replaced.

9 Comments:

Hey Frog. Long time no see.

Add to this the absurdity of the steel supply issue and its no wonder you kvetch.
Lily, hey long time no see as well. Yeah the steel thing is killing us. The cost to construct has balloned 5-fold since estimates were done in 1998.
Cut corners to increase profits. That's the American Way Frog. Are you trying to tell me that a company can't price gouge, sell cheap shit for more money, and not practice quality control? What are you? A commie?

If the State wants to buy substandard concrete then that's their business. Capitalism baby...How dare you impead progress by demanding a decent product. You are threatening the lives of multimillionaires with your basless leftist rhetoric.
Hey, cement, schment...what eva! We don't need no stinkin' bridges...it just lets in the rif raf.
PoliS...yeah you're right don't let those laws about requiring newly mixed concrete get in the way--just too burdensome anyway. ;-)

Windspike...well said! Guess that's why we have tolls coming into SF but not going back out, huh?
I can't believe this still isn't done. As a native SFer who now lives in LA, I got to experience BOTH the Northridge and World Series quake.

How hard is it to build a bridge that 1000's use everyday?

Honestly the damage from the SF quake was way worse than Northridge...
Here on the East coast, a concrete supplier is accused of using sub-standard concrete in the multi-billion-dollar Big Dig roadway project under Boston.

5,000 truckloads (out of 135,000) that were used in tunnels and seawalls didn't meet specs. The company, Aggregate Industries, actually sent truckloads back to the site after they had been rejected.

The good news - 6 of the bastards at Aggregate were just arrested.
Abi, I've read about the problems with the Big Dig's tunnels--major water seepage, leaks, even heard of at least one 'gusher". It's amazing that something that adds so much to Boston's character would be so badly botched. I remember the first time drove through the new tunnels, I thought it was the greatest public works project in the history of the US. Oh well...

Out here two of the execs of Pacific Cement have been arrested.

Crackpot, nope not done yet, still waiting.
Who needs to import terrorists when you got those government and corporate thieves?

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