Fact Check

U.S. Bridge Contracts Going to the Chinese

Bridge contracts in the U.S. going to Chinese firms?

Published Sep 17, 2012

Claim:   Bridge reconstruction contracts in the U.S., including repairs on the I-635 in Texas, are going to Chinese firms.


TRUE: Chinese firms have been selected for some bridge reconstruction projects in the U.S.
FALSE: President Obama approved the use of Chinese contractors for some bridge reconstruction projects in the U.S.
FALSE: Work on the I-635 in Texas is being carried out by Chinese firms.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2012]

I-635 in Texas is being rebuilt with underground tolls from I-35 to I-45 and is contracted to a CHINESE firm for over $5 billion.

Diane Sawyer reporting on U.S. bridge projects going to the Chinese.... NOT Americans.

The bridges are right here in the U.S. and yet Obama has approved for Chinese contractors to come in and do the work.

What about jobs for Americans???

Watch this video. It doesn't take long to view.

This one should be tough for the supporters of the current regime to swallow.... AND it comes from ABC NEWS

U.S.A. Bridges and Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms

Shocking to say the least!

This video is a jaw-dropper that will make you sick. (It was also shocking that ABC was actually reporting this story.)

The lead-in with Obama promising jobs in the U.S. by improving our infrastructure is so typical of all his promises! Our tax dollars are at work - for CHINA!!!

I pray all the unemployed see this and cast their votes accordingly in 2012!

CLICK here: U.S. Bridges, Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms Video - ABC News



Origins:   This e-mail decrying the use of Chinese firms in preference to American ones to rebuild bridges in the U.S. that began circulating on the internet in February 2012 is a mixture of truth and falsehood. While it is true Chinese firms have been awarded contracts to refurbish some bridges within the U.S., the work on the I-635 in Dallas is not one of them. It's also not true that President Obama (or anyone else at the federal level) has "approved" the selection of Chinese firms for these projects.

The video often linked to in this e-mail is of an ABC World News segment titled "U.S. Bridges, Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms" which aired on 23 September 2011

as part of that show's "Bringing America Back" series. While Diane Sawyer was the news anchor who introduced the piece, the reporter who researched the story and presented it on camera was Chris Cuomo.

The news clip made reference to three recent major infrastructure projects that went to Chinese firms: a $400 million renovation of the Alexander Hamilton bridge in New York, a $7.2 billion new bridge to connect San Francisco and Oakland in California, and a proposed $190 million bridge project in Alaska.

Despite the assertion "Obama has approved for Chinese contractors to come in and do the work," as is stated in the video that the e-mail directs readers to, "U.S. law requires major infrastructure projects to buy American if the cost difference is reasonable." No one at the federal level (President Obama included) has "approved" the use of non-U.S. contractors for these jobs. Federal 'Buy American' laws constrict the flow of federal monies that would help fund infrastructure projects when states choose non-U.S. contractors in preference to American ones.

As stated in that September 2011 video: "New York and California refused Federal monies to assist them in their bridge reconstruction projects, thereby freeing them to select Chinese firms for those jobs. In California, U.S. firms say they would have met those guidelines but state officials decided turn down federal money for a major part of the bridge, allowing a Chinese company to get the job."

Regarding the relative wisdom of California's choice to turn down federal monies and instead hire a Chinese firm to build its bridge, the New York Times reported in June 2011 that:

The assembly work in California, and the pouring of the concrete road surface, will be done by Americans. But construction of the bridge decks and the materials that went into them are a Made in China affair. California officials say the state saved hundreds of millions of dollars by turning to China.

The expansion of the I-635 (LBJ Express) in Dallas is being carried out by LBJ Infrastructure Group, a conglomerate of a number of U.S. and international companies, including Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte (Spain), Meridiam Infrastructure Finance (Luxembourg), Macquarie Capital (Australia), Ferrovial Agroman (Spain), W.W. Webber (USA), and Bridgefarmer & Associates (USA).

Barbara "bridge mixture" Mikkelson

Last updated:   17 September 2012


    Barboza, David.   "Bridge Comes to San Francisco with a Made-in-China Label."

    The New York Times.   25 June 2011.

    Cuomo, Chris.   "U.S. Bridges, Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms."

    ABC World News.   23 September 2011.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags

a Member

Your membership is the foundation of our sustainability and resilience.


Ad-Free Browsing on Snopes.com
Members-Only Newsletter
Cancel Anytime