The Montana Department of Transportation will have a $438 million budget to invest in transportation infrastructure this year, about 85% of which will be spent before winter arrives. The projects are expected to produce roughly 13,500 construction jobs, said Al Ekblad, executive secretary of the Montana AFL-CIO. "It’s an economic catalyst in Montana, and the jobs are critical to the construction workers, especially in the crafts," Ekblad said. "Highway construction work is bread-and-butter work from my perspective for a multitude of workers."

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