LAS VEGAS -- Four roadway projects are paving the way towards 260 construction jobs and improved transportation in North Las Vegas.
They are the first handful of nearly 200 infrastructure projects to be funded by a Clark County fuel tax passed last year.
The general manager of one construction company says he went from just surviving to actually hiring full-time workers and apprentices. He says work like this can mean a big difference for the industry and for the city of North Las Vegas.
Breaking up old asphalt and putting in something new is hard work, but Paddy Murphy says it is what North Las Vegas-based Aggregate Industries does best.
“Street reconstruction is what we consider to be our wheel house. It is what we are really good at,” Murphy said.
Business boomed for the company for a while but then crashed. The economic downturn forced the contractor to downsize from more than 1,000 employees to just more than 300.
“The past five years has been really tough on our employees and on the company,” Murphy said.
Things are looking up now that the company has been awarded three road improvement projects in North Las Vegas. The total cost is more than $15 million.
Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick says it is an investment in infrastructure.
“It all starts with roads, people don't put in commercial unless they have roads, people don't move to neighborhoods unless they have roads. So, it all starts with roads,” Kirkpatrick said.
The new Clark County gas tax pays for 185 projects, which are expected to create more than 9,000 jobs. The gas tax will cost the average driver about $100 at the pump over the next three years.
Kirkpatrick says it is worth it.
“You're talking to someone who drives every day for their work. It is a small price to pay for what it brings to the economy,” she said.
Murphy says he has recently hired 16 people to help with the new workload.
“I think it is the turning point. The economy is starting to show some real improvement,” he said.
Murphy says it feels good to be hiring again.
Kirkpatrick says the fuel revenue is tied to inflation and will help keep up with the cost of labor and material. The tax is expected to generate $700 million dollars over the next three years to be spent on transportation projects here in southern Nevada.
Monday, September 1 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:06:07 GMT
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