Friday, June 03, 2005

Drugs and Construction

I was talking to a local construction worker. He seemed like an amiable gentleman in his early 40s. We talked about the current state of highways near my place when he divulged some info about the business around these parts.

He says that at least 3/4 of workers have drug or alcohol problems in the state. Most of the drug problems deal with cocaine and heroine. Many individuals he personal had worked with have been drunk on the job at one time or another. Unions protect them from everything.

He also said that if you were not an alcoholic and did not use drugs, you could write your own ticket anywhere. You would be coveted by major corporations.

Now, I'm not sure if this info is true or if it reflects the reality of things in the very least but it is still amazing. Maybe the reason they can't seem to finish the jobs in time and budget is because the companies have all of these other problems they have to worry about. I know that in other states, a collapsed stretch of highway have been rebuilt in 6 months good as new. In this state, for some reason, it takes them 5 years to widen a 1 mile stretch of highway. Also, the costs are enormous. If it costs $200,000 in one state, it costs $5 million here (this is according to an individual who tried to start projects in this state).

In any case, it's apalling to think that my life on the road is in the hands of some of these individuals. Frightening.

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