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Bridge weld imbroglio is costing millions
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/9/5 | Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross

Posted on 05/09/2005 7:38:33 AM PDT by SmithL

The investigation into allegations of faulty welds on the Bay Bridge came up empty -- but the resulting construction delays and consulting bills from the probe have cost taxpayers millions.

For starters, there's the nearly $1.7 million that the bridge's joint- venture contractor, KFM, says it lost when it stopped pouring concrete for three weeks while the feds investigated workers' allegations that their bosses had ordered them to cover up bad welds on the new eastern span.

That bill may well go to the state. And that's just for openers.

The Federal Highway Administration hired no fewer than three independent consultants -- plus a lab in Washington state -- to examine sections of questionable welds identified by the whistle-blowing workers.

And while the feds haven't publicly disclosed their costs, they did tell state officials that it would cost $250,000 for the services of just one of its consultants.

In addition, we're told, 17 Caltrans employees spent a month helping with the investigation -- including overtime on weekends -- providing the FBI, the state attorney general and the Federal Highway Administration with documents, logistical support and answers to myriad questions.

Plus, there are the salaries of Caltrans' 10 outside welding consultants who had to drop what they were doing to help with the federal probe -- a case triggered by worker complaints to the FBI and Oakland Tribune.

There are also the costs from tearing out the three column sections that the feds' contractors examined, and now replacing those welded sections. The repairs are expected to be completed within a week, Caltrans said.

On top of all this, Caltrans could get stuck with as much as $400,000 a day in penalties and other construction costs if KFM is prevented from completing the job on schedule because of the welding probe.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: baybridge; unionthugs
Charge the unions that attepted this extortion.
1 posted on 05/09/2005 7:38:34 AM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL
This whole debacle has been insane.I'm in the trades and cannot believe the welders just made up the story, they better watch their backs.I wonder what motivated them to do what they did.
2 posted on 05/09/2005 7:53:43 AM PDT by scott says
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To: SmithL

Sean Hannity should be covering this story. Much more compelling than the "run-away bride", yet essentially the same: How a few wackos who don't know what they're talking about cause an FBI investigation costing millions. End result. Nothing was wrong but the taxpayers are out millions.

3 posted on 05/09/2005 7:55:07 AM PDT by BigBobber
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To: scott says

If there is anything wrong with the welds, i would bet it was performed by the whistleblower. Kiewit, FCI, etc. are pros and would not let this happen, much less cover it up.

4 posted on 05/09/2005 7:59:02 AM PDT by ctlpdad (There can be no triumph without loss, no victory without suffering and no freedom without sacrifice!)
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To: ctlpdad

The whole thing just doesn't add up to me,it doesn't make any sense.

5 posted on 05/09/2005 8:08:11 AM PDT by scott says
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