Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Monday, April 18, 2011
(UNDATED) - The Indiana Department of Transportation is continuing to spend its $658 million share of federal stimulus money.
The state says half of that money is already spent, but the other half is creating the state's largest road construction summer ever.
That means temporary headaches for commuters.
However, a bigger battle is brewing; are Hoosier construction firms and workers benefitting? INDOT says yes, but the laborers international union says no way.
Given the seasonal, temporary nature of construction work, both sides say it's hard to determine the actual number of new construction jobs created.
INDOT says by federal law, it can't discriminate against firms, Indiana or elsewhere, that bid on contracts.
State officials say more than 80% of road construction firms working in Indiana employ Hoosier workers.
Ward Daniels of Indianapolis local 120 says many out of state firms underbid Hoosier firms on road contracts and hire out-of-state workers.
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