Layoffs, Construction Delays On Tap If Federal Money Dries Up

By WTVO WQRF Newsroom

Published 07/16 2014 11:18AM

Updated 07/16 2014 11:20AM

WTVO/WQRF - Money for federal road projects could run out in two weeks, leaving thousands without jobs and road work unfinished.

Shannon Brickey has been a member of an engineer union for 17 years and working on the roads is the way he makes a living.

"The roads are getting worse everyday" says Brickey.  "They need work.  We need work... My only income along with like I said thousands of people out there that have families to feed."

But, by this time net month, he could be without a job.

"It's a very scary thought because there's thousands of families that rely on that."

If the Highway Trust fund runs out then hundreds of state construction jobs will be cut and not just that thousands of union workers will be without a job.

"You will see 70% of those road projects being affected at the time of season when it's crucial that they be able to be out there working" says IUOE Local 965 representative Mike Zahn.

According to the White House, nearly 30,000 jobs could be lost and nearly 4,000 construction projects delayed.

"This is the peak of our construction industry" says Zahn.  "The next four months probably make up over 50% of the income of for a operating engineer or laborer or truck driver."

The Highway Trust Fund supports 75% of five year transportation spending in the state.  Union workers have sent a letter to congress to find ways to restore the funding before the Aug. 1 deadline.

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