Action: Notice, request for comments.
Web posting date: 10/23/2008
Federal Register Notice of Finding Publication Date:
Effective Date of Federal Register:
Close of public comment period:
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking comments on whether a waiver of the Buy America requirements of 23 CFR 635.410 should be granted to permit the use of non-domestic CIPEC WP250 Steel expansion joint system in the state of Washington.
FHWA will only consider a Buy America waiver when the conditions of 23 CFR 635.410( c) have been met: (1) when the application of the provision would be inconsistent with the public interest; or (2) when steel and iron products are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities, which are of a satisfactory quality.
The FHWA will consider all comments received in the initial 15-day comment period during our evaluation of the waiver request. Comments received after this period, but before notice of our finding is published in the Federal Register, will be considered to the extent practical. Follow-up coordination on the comments received may result in a delay in the publication of our waiver finding in the Federal Register. Comments received during the 15-day comment period after notice of our finding is published in the Federal Register will be reviewed, but the finding will continue to remain valid. Comments received during the comment period after the effective date of the finding will be reviewed, and may influence the FHWA's decision to terminate or modify a finding.
DOT contact: Jugesh Kapur (360) 705-7207
|John Montgomery 10/23/2008|
With over 25% of US steelmaking capacity idled because of poor market conditions, why would we use US taxpayer dollars to support foreign steel mills when our steelworkers need the work? |
|Jugesh Kapur 10/27/2008|
The Washington State DOT offers the following comments to John Montgomery's question. |
The Washington State DOT is looking for a bridge expansion joint system with a 9 inch movement range to replace a failed finger joint system. We would prefer to use a system with domestic steel but no system has been found that is comparable to the Freyssinet CIPEC WP250 system listed in this posting. A comparable system must meet current AASHTO loading requirements, provide a durable anchorage mechanism, be easily adapted to our existing bridge, be installed in sections that permit traffic to be maintained in adjacent lanes, be readily available for shipment, and be supported by a successful performance record.
Alternative systems have been considered but their disadvantages make them inappropriate or undesirable. Elastomeric strip seal joints cannot be used because the total movement demand is too great. Modular expansion joints encompassing a series of center beams and support bars would meet the expansion demand but would require extensive construction time and traffic disruption to modify the existing floor beam and stringer elements to create concrete blockouts for the support boxes. Finger joints using traditional bolt-down panel joint systems have demonstrated marginal performance with unpredictable and undesirable failure modes presenting particular safety hazards to motorcyclists. Replication of the existing finger joint design is possible but not preferred because the existing system has resulted in extensive maintenance and traffic safety problems.
|Guy rothrock 10/28/2008|
Was bidding performed in accordance with 635.410 (3)? And is this a sole source, proprietary product, that circumvents competitive bidding law? |
A fair bidding process is all I ask.
635.410 (3) The State elects to include alternate bid provisions for foreign and domestic steel and iron materials which comply with the following requirements. Any procedure for obtaining alternate bids based on furnishing foreign steel and iron materials which is acceptable to the Division Administrator may be used. The contract provisions must (i) require all bidders to submit a bid based on furnishing domestic steel and iron materials, and (ii) clearly state that the contract will be awarded to the bidder who submits the lowest total bid based on furnishing domestic steel and iron materials unless such total bid exceeds the lowest total bid based on furnishing foreign steel and iron materials by more than 25 percent.
|Stephen Pabst 10/28/2008|
A domestically produced low profile expansion joint available for movements up to and exceeding 9" is readily available to the State of Washington. My firm manufactures two products which meet the identifed category requirement and are currently being utilized throughout the United States. Based upon the domestic availability of a product which fulfills this application need, and has sufficient performance history, and offers installation economy. Used in conjunction with today's available cartridge anchor technology, these products perform very well. Therefore, no foreign sourced expansion device, which would also rely upon anchor bolts to provide performance assurance, should be accepted. I would ask the specifying agency to contact me regarding this issue. |
|Greg Lippincott, WSDOT 11/03/2008|
The Washington State DOT offers the following comments to Guy Rothrock's question. CFR 635.410 (b) states: |
(b) No Federal-aid highway construction project is to be authorized for advertisement or otherwise authorized to proceed unless at least one of the following requirements is met:
WSDOT beleives the writer assumed that the State was using CFR 635.410 (b) (3) although they referenced CFR 635.410 (3) (which does not exist).
The State is not using CFR 635.410 (b) (3). The State is using CFR 635.410 (b) (2) which states:
(2) The State has standard contract provisions that require the use of domestic materials and products, including steel and iron materials, to the same or greater extent as the provisions set forth in this section.
The State of Washington's Federal-Aid contract provisions require the use of domestic materials and products, including steel and iron materials, to a greater extent as the provisions set forth in CFR 635.410.
The State of Washington's Buy America contract provisions can be found at: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Design/ProjectDev/GSP/Division1.htm . In order for any contract to include alternate bid provisions for foreign and domestic steel and iron materials, the cost of structural steel must meet certain cost benefits based upon a defined percent of the the total cost of the project and this project does not meet those requirements
|Ralph Dornsife 11/05/2008|
The Washington State DOT offers the following comments to Stephen Pabst's posting: We have separately received your proposal to install a WaboFlex bolt-down panel joint system. Bolt-down panel joints have demonstrated marginal performance in Washington State with unpredictable and undesirable failure modes (broken anchorages, premature component degradation, loose panel segments within the roadway). Because of the resulting hazards presented to motorcyclists, we discontinued using these systems about 10 years ago. This particular bridge is on a rural section of Interstate 5 that receives very heavy truck traffic with a posted speed of 70 mph, accentuating our concerns. |
|vahid mostaani 12/03/2008|
hi we are expansion joint producer can we be member of your department? |
|Dick Stoddard 12/04/2008|
In response to Vahid Mustaani, please send product information to the WSDOT Bridge Design Office, P.O. Box 47340, Olympia, WA 98504-7340 |