The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plan to use Chinese-made steel to renovate the Verrazano Narrows Bridge has U.S. steel workers up in arms.
The $235 million resurfacing project will replace the upper deck of the nearly 50-year-old bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island.
The American company in charge of the project is using Chinese subcontractors to produce $30 million worth of steel.
The steelworkers union says the decks should be made in the States to support the U.S. economy.
MTA officials say American steel companies simply do not have the technology.
"We made diligent efforts trying to work with American companies, trying to work with the general contractors administration and trying to work through our engineers to find American steel companies that had the capability to fabricate this steel and unfortunately we couldn't find any," said MTA spokesperson Adam Lisberg. "We are trying to work with the American steel industry and we stand ready to work with the steel union to try to build up the production capacity of American steel companies, but unfortunately the project that we're going ahead with now, we can't delay it for years."
MTA officials say all eight companies that placed bids for the project planned to use foreign steel.
The agency says the project will create a seventh lane across the top of bridge and extend its life by at least 50 years.