In December 1994 a $44 million seismic retrofit project began on the I-8/I-805 Interchange in San Diego. Two years later it was revealed that SGS Industrial Services, the contractor hired by Mejia Steel Welding to inspect the welding work done by Mejia, had improperly certified welds that were defective. The problem was first noticed by a state-employed inspector from CA Department of Transportation, when the state investigated fully they discovered that 73% of the 15,000 welds certified by SGS were defective. Had the problem gone undetected, the ability of the over-crossings to withstand a major earthquake would be vastly decreased, putting public safety at risk. Overall it cost $5 million to redo the welds and caused extensive delays to project completion.


Aerial View of I-8/I-805 Interchange, San Diego CA

Supporting Articles

  • “Retrofit fears spread in state,” San Diego Union Tribune, May 15, 1996
  • “Flawed welds on I-805 will be redone,” San Diego Union Tribune, June 21, 1996
  • “Defective welds have cropped up before,” Inside Bay Area, April 6, 2005 
  • “Orange Crush contains faulty welds,” Los Angeles Times, September 13, 1999
  • “Welds suggest bridge quake risk,” Los Angeles Times, September 13, 1999