Welds on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which former employees of contractor KFM claimed were defective and deliberately ignored, "showed excellent workmanship," according to results of independent field and destructive testing released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on May 4.

"I was not surprised because the quality control system we had in place was very vigorous says Dan McElhinney, California Dept. of Transportation toll bridge engineering manager, after reading details of the report by Seattle-based Mayes Testing Engineers. "According to the report it is at a higher level than most around the nation."

During the nearly three weeks when the four footings were being examined, Kiewit Pacific Co.-led KFM continued work on the skyway segments for the 24 of the 28 footings already completed. McElhinney estimates that by May 9, welders will finish building or "buttering" up the holes left in sleeves when testing samples were taken. Concrete fill will continue next week. It is possible that time can be made up and the delay will not impact the overall schedule, McElhinney says.