Road Work Creates Jobs, Boosts Economy

By Katie Hargitt

Published 07/21 2014 04:35PM

Updated 07/21 2014 08:25PM

Each year the Indiana Department of Transportation spends nearly $800 million on road construction. While drivers hate it, road work crews love it.

"Rough, it's really rough," said Clint Sparks, a driver. "It's a pain, it's just a pain," said Brenda Gore, another Indiana driver.

"It keeps all of our guys busy," said Eric Coburn, a project manager for Beaty Construction. "It also helps subcontractors and material suppliers stay busy for the summer as well."

This summer more than 150 of Beaty's employees are working on the state's roads.

"This is a reconstruction widening of I-70, plus we're building a local service road. Building two bridges, relocating a creek, drawing down a pond. There's a lot of different activities," Coburn said.

Drivers like Clint Sparks recognize the benefits road construction can bring, but he drives 100 miles to work each day. He says he'll take a different route to avoid the orange cones.

"I would rather drive an extra 15 miles just to avoid 70," Sparks said.

While you're either avoiding it or driving through it to get to work, Coburn says slow down and be patient with the crews while they work.

"Well number one, it will be over soon enough and the road will be much better. There's a reason we're doing these things and number two, it keeps a lot of people employed not just the guys out there, but all the people supplying them the materials plus the other subcontractors associated with the work so it's a big part of our economy," Coburn said.

Beaty Construction is based out of Indianapolis, but they do use local union workers from Terre Haute.

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