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1 Flounder  Jun 9, 2014 10:52:47am

Great article, there is a lot there, and even more when you start digging. I think my biggest concern is why CALTRANS would accept a design with such a large amount of SMAW?
Great welding is an art.
A few snippets:

Anziano said the welding problems weren’t that severe. “We had millions of welds on the work over in China,” he said in an interview. “The vast majority went very well.”


Caltrans even put up a half-million dollars for ZPMC to better train welders, but the workers did not show up for the classes.

I can foresee a hundred years of crack repair on this bridge.

2 Charles Johnson  Jun 9, 2014 1:49:59pm

Floral! I’ve asked many times already — please use blockquotes around text from an article, to make it clear it’s a quote and not your own words. All you have to do is select the text, then click the icon that looks like a quotation mark.

This is important! People who own news sites get upset when their work is not attributed properly.

And four paragraphs is the most you should ever quote. Preferably less.

3 3eff Jeff  Jun 9, 2014 2:27:55pm

re: #1 Flounder

Great article, there is a lot there, and even more when you start digging. I think my biggest concern is why CALTRANS would accept a design with such a large amount of SMAW?
Great welding is an art.

Because SMAW is probably the right choice for this kind of application. It’s an efficient way to weld thick pieces of metal together, and the process is not particularly sensitive to wind. So, it’s generally the best choice for big parts that have to be put together outside. You can put down a lot of metal quickly, for cheap. (There’s a reason good ol’ stick welding still accounts for 50% of all welding, much of which is construction related.)

That said, great welding is an art. If you hire a bunch of schmucks for cheap, you’ll get crappy welds that crack. You can get excellent looking welds with SMAW. It just requires skill. If they’d done something silly and insisted on MIG welding or another process, it would have turned out just as poorly. The problem here is cheap labor with bad oversight. Not SMAW.

(I’m a hobbyist welder. My welds generally suck, but I know it and don’t work for firms that build bridges.)

4 Floral Giraffe  Jun 9, 2014 3:56:15pm

re: #2 Charles Johnson

Sorry Charles! I will do better!

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