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Action: Notice, request for comments.

Web posting date: 07/25/2011

Federal Register Notice of Finding Publication Date: 02/07/12

Effective Date of Federal Register: 02/08/12

Close of public comment period: 02/23/12

Summary: 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 8'-0" high oxidized stainless steel cable net in the state of New York City DDC.

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.

New York City DDC Contact: Ali Mallick,, (718)-391-1463


Mouhamad A. Naboulsi 07/25/2011
I prefer that we buy only American and preferably, not from a multinational company. The steel industry have suffered enough and need to maintain a viable working industry for emegencies. Even if it cost more.

This is nothing against other countries or their products. It is about us taking care of us first.

Best regards.

Dennis Dalton 07/25/2011
I also prefer to use solely USA sources for the HSR. The intent is to stimulate domestic growth. We are a nation of thinkers and builders. Lets stay within our own house. I expect we will tidy as far as costs, in the process.

Avis Deck 07/25/2011
This is our United States of America and should be supported by all our companies that are located and established in this United States and are employing United States citizens. It's that simple.

Tony Neveux 07/25/2011
We need to take care of our own country and people first. It is about time that we stop sending contracts out of the United States. When we have equal trade, dollar for dollar, then and only then can we think about buying elsewhere.

Dave Augustine 07/25/2011
If it's because sufficient quantities of satisfactory quality are not reasonably available, what is considered "reasonably available?" Bringing in foreign product is alright as long as it's sufficiently more economical to taxpayers. If it's because of the application of the provision would be inconsistent with the public interest; this should be a non-issue. Granted, we need to support American-made product, but only at the cost to the taxpayer dollar and not their opinion. Opinions don't pay bills.

Jeff Oyer 07/25/2011
We must exhaust all efforts to purchase products made in America, home of the free and the brave.

Nick Psappas 07/26/2011
This comment period is for someone to rise up and say "Hey that's made in Kansas" or "My company can make that product".

Richard Dean 07/26/2011
The products are made in America and are available in large quantities. There is no need for a waiver for this product. The idea of looking elsewhere to save a buck is killing our economy. Remember, you get what you pay for and buying cheap, low quality products from other countries always cost more in the long run in tems of safety and the cost to redo the work correctly the second time.

Pete Scarpitti 07/27/2011
If the material is a vailable in our counrty this should be a no brainer. With in hours of the request from New York the FHWA should have been able to answer thier request and not have to go thru this comment period. Buy, Make, and sell USA products.

Ali Mallick 07/27/2011
I want to summarize the request of waiver as follows:

The High Bridge is the oldest bridge in New York City. First opened in 1848 to deliver Croton water to Manhattan, the bridge is the most visible and monumental element of the Old Croton Aqueduct in New York City. The High Bridge was designated an individual New York City landmark in 1970, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. In 1992, the north-most 26 miles of the Old Croton Aqueduct, including the High Bridge, were designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The rehabilitation project aims to reopen the facility to its former service as a pedestrian/bicycle facility for the public providing needed safety, security and accessibility improvements at the structure. Project goals include use of historic preservation treatments and repair /rehabilitation methodologies in accordance with The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties that will return the bridge to a condition of good repair without materially altering its appearance or historic fabric, to the fullest extent possible. The rehabilitation will create a destination that is sensitive to the unique history, architecture and engineering of the High Bridge.

To fulfill state and federal obligations including Section 106 (36 C.F.R. - Part 800) of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, measures to minimize harm and to avoid and/or mitigate adverse effects to the historic properties has led to specific design selections for several new features required to meet barrier free access and safety standards for pedestrians and wheeled users. A new 8’-0” high, oxidized stainless steel cable net safety fence is proposed for use as protective screening along the bridge fascia in lieu of chain-link fencing material. The location, form, and detailing of the fence system was selected to ensure that it provide the requisite safety while minimizing negative visual and physical impact on the historic features of the bridge. The aesthetic details of the fence have been carefully considered in response to public opinion to provide a new element that harmonizes with the historic features with minimal intrusion to the views and vistas from atop the High Bridge.

The fence design has been reviewed and approved by the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Our research has determined that there are only two (2) manufacturers/distributors of the cable mesh material and system appurtenances in the US. The materials which go into the mesh product will be manufactured domestically. The mesh cable will be certified US melt stainless steel and will be further pulled into wire domestically. However, the assembly that includes spinning of wire into cable mesh, cutting of the cable, sliding of the ferrules onto the cables at regular intervals and then precision pressing of the ferrules to hold the cables together must be completed in Germany (Carl Stahl) or Switzerland (Jakob). There is also some manual labor required to join smaller panels into larger panels. The structural steel posts and base plates will be purchased from an American manufacturer.

Hopefully the above clarification will respond to most of your concerns. Again, the materials which go into the mesh product will be manufactured domestically. The mesh cable will be certified US melt stainless steel and will be further pulled into wire domestically including structural steel posts and base plates will be purchased from an American manufacturer.

Please feel free to post any other comments based on the above clarification.


Edwin Okonkwo
Office of Program Administration
E-mail Edwin

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Updated: 11/28/2014

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration