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A young man’s fancy is turning to signs of construction life

By Sean Ryan

After a long 2009, I’m getting tired of trying to come up with different ways to write about how there is no construction work in Wisconsin.

But spring is coming, and over the past month the development industry has shown new signs of life. There’s Ingeteam’s move to the Menomonee Valley, Talgo’s train construction at Tower Automotive, the UW-Milwaukee Innovation Park in Wauwatosa and WisDOT rolling with high-speed rail construction.

The bloom isn’t happening just around Milwaukee. Madison is getting into the public works act with its planned $18 million, 6-acre Central Park project.

Those are just the big ones. Our bidding pages are sprouting notices for municipalities’ 2010 road construction contracts, the MMSD is bidding its Muskego-to-Milwaukee landfill gas pipe and, although there’s no actual development proposal in place, the developers of Pabst Farms are rolling out new design ideas for the long-awaited Town Centre shopping mall in Oconomowoc.

Let’s hope this is just the beginning of the thaw.

I’ve spent a year listening to sentences begin with the term “in these economic times.”

Last year, that was the prelude to something depressing, such as, “in these economic times, it’s hard for a company to maintain its work force,” or “in these economic times, a reporter like you should spend his money more wisely.”

I want to hear the phrase more in this coming year, but used in sentences like “in these economic times, a company can really grow and prosper.”

Sean Ryan, a staff writer at The Daily Reporter, didn’t wear a jacket to work today.

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