The $235 million renovation of Staten Island's Verrazano Bridge will be made in China, according to the Daily News. As you can imagine this doesn’t make American steelworkers and the United Steelworkers union very happy.
The MTA decided to outsource the project because they say there isn't a steel plant in America that can produce the type of steel plate orthotropic design needed. The Daily News reports that the MTA hopes the bridge will last longer with the orthotropic design and lighter steel plates, which are also used in the San Francisco, Oakland Bay Bridge.
United Steelworkers’ Vice President Tom Conway is not happy with the MTA's decision and he questions their reasoning. “We are very skeptical about their claim they can’t find an American plant to make these plates. We found two in Pennsylvania — 100 miles from the bridge — that bid on the project and wanted to do it,” said Conway via the Daily News.
Conway claims that it really comes down to money. “This job here is about $30 an hour,” he explained. “In China, the workers will get anywhere from $10 to $15 a day.”
According to the Daily News, the MTA says it would cost an extra $100 million if the project was completed in America.