"The stimulus is one of the very few bright spots theconstructionindustry experienced last year and is one of the fewhopes keeping itgoing in 2010," according to a statement by KenSimonson, theassociation's chief economist. Simonson was unable toreturn a call to GlobeSt.com in time for publication.

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New federal reports show that $20.6 billion dollars worth ofstimulushighway projects were initiated over the past 12 months,whichsaved or created nearly 280,000 construction jobs--or 15,000jobs perbillion dollars invested.

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At the same time, heavy and civil engineeringconstructionemployment was stable last month even as totalconstructionemployment declined by 75,000. All of these factorssuggest that thestimulus is having a stabilizing impact on the industry, Simonsonsaid.

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These projects are also having a ripple effect indownstreamindsutries. Simonson pointed to Pittsburh's GoldenTriangleConstruction Co., which is hiring two new engineers andover 100employees this spring to perform $24 million worth ofstimulus-fundedprojects this year, courtesy of Ripon, CA-basedGuntert and Zimmerman. The company also plans to order newconstruction equipment.

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There have been hints before that the stimulus was making itspresence felt in the construction industry: last August, forexample, the American Institute ofArchitect' Architecture Billings Index found that the stimuluswas generating some work and inquiries.

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