A new Bay Bridge will connect San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., by 2013. The bridge, which officials are calling ‘the world’s largest self-anchored suspension bridge,’ will cost $7.2 billion when complete, but state decided not to apply for federal funding when the project began in 2006. Why?

According to a New York Times report in June, it was in part so they wouldn’t have to buy more expensive American steel:

. . .because the “Buy America” provisos would probably have required purchasing more expensive steel and fabrication from United States manufacturers.

So, who‘s building this bridge and with who’s material? American workers will provide much of the elbow grease, but the materials are made in China. NPR has more:

This assembly will be performed early next year by American labor. But the massive cable, key sections of the iconic tower and deck were all made in China, which is emerging as an infrastructure powerhouse in more places than San Francisco.

. . .

The decision to outsource the fabrication of key sections of the Bay Bridge was made about five years ago when a contractor offered alternate bids on the project, says Tony Anziano, a manager at the California Transportation Department.

“One proposing to do work domestically, one proposing to do the work internationally: There was a $400 million differential in that bid and in that case it would have required the work to go international,” [Tony Anziano, a program manager at the California Department of Transportation,] said.

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