Windsor construction workers waiting for next big project to start

The construction of the The Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway is mostly in the rearview mirror, while the major construction for the Gordie Howe International Bridge is still a ways down the road. That gap between big projects is leaving many workers with little work, said the head of a construction association.

The construction of the The Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway is mostly in the rearview mirror, while the major construction for the Gordie Howe International Bridge is still a ways down the road. 

That gap between mega-construction projects in the Windsor-Essex area is leaving many construction workers with little work these days, said Jim Lyons, executive director of the Construction Association of Windsor, in an interview with CBC News.

"It's almost a feast and famine," said Lyons, who also head the Heavy Construction Association of Windsor.

While there are some contractors biting off more than they can chew right now working on residential projects, there are many others who are sitting at home hungry for work right now. 

The unemployment rate in the Windsor area was down slightly, at 8.7 per cent in July, according to Statistics Canada. Montreal now leads the country with an unemployment rate of 8.9 per cent. Nationally, employment changed little in July. The unemployment rate remained at 6.8 per cent for the sixth consecutive month.

Many construction workers currently in need of a steady pay cheque in the Windsor-Essex area were working on the retooling of the Chrysler Windsor Assembly Plant. 

Now, many of those workers are "waiting for that next big job," with many hoping to start working on building the new Gordie Howe International Bridge soon, said Lyons.

With a report from the CBC's Aadel Haleem


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