Construction

CONSTRUCTION: Big projects still driving force in NWI

The Times Board of Economists - An economic update from William Hasse III, president Hasse Construction
2013-01-27T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T16:23:30Z CONSTRUCTION: Big projects still driving force in NWIBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

Construction in Northwest Indiana continues to rebound strongly from the recession, buoyed by big projects like the $3.8 billion BP refinery expansion and smaller ones such as hospital and health care upgrades, said William Hasse III, president of Hasse Construction.

In the past few months, health care building announcements have included the $33 million expansion of Munster's Community Hospital, which follows on the opening of the new Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso in August.

And hospital building has an important side benefit as well, giving a push to the growth of physician offices and other medical services, Hasse said.

"You really end up with a campus setting, with the hub being the hospital and spokes going out," he said.

Overall, construction hours worked so far this year are up about 10 percent over the same period last year, according to data from the Construction Advancement Foundation.

Highway and road construction also are supporting jobs, with the Cline Avenue Bridge demolition finishing up in East Chicago, the replacement of Nine Span Bridge beginning in Hammond and the ongoing reconstruction of U.S. 12 and U.S. 20 in Gary.

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