Officials probe bridge welding concerns

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Updated: 3/14 10:08 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California authorities are conducting an administration investigation into the handling of welding problems on some sections of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge fabricated in China.

California State Transportation Agency spokesman Gareth Lacy said Friday that when his agency heard serious allegations about the welding during a recent committee hearing, it asked the California Highway Patrol to look into the matter.

The Sacramento Bee reports that at a Jan. 24 hearing of the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, James Merrill, a formerly quality manager for a CalTrans contractor in China, said his company lost its contract shortly after he told managers about serious welding problems. Merrill and another engineer told the Senate committee that he was told to ignore cracks in some of the welds.

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