EVRAZ extension

EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel Mill adds a new long rail mill for $ 500.

Tracy Harmon, the chief of the pueblos

The first 100 construction workers to help build EVRAZ North America’s $ 500 million modern railroad facility are expected to converge in Pueblo by the end of August.

Although housing appears to be secured for the first wave of workers, local housing authorities still need help finding more space for the remaining 700 construction workers who are expected to work in Pueblo by early 2023.

The expansion will allow the steel mill to produce longer rails and cement the history of the Pueblo mill for another 50 years. In Pueblo, Home Smart Realtor Randy Thurston is still working to figure out what local homes are available for the construction crews.

“With the units I am now purchasing, we may be ready for the first 100 craftsmen, but we are still a long way from meeting the demand,” said Thurston.

After a July 7 article in The Pueblo Chieftain shed light on housing needs, Thurston secured 20 to 30 open units.

“I can reach 30 to 40 others pretty easily with calls I’ve received. Some have two bedrooms, so if the workers can sleep together that will help, ”Thurston said.

“Then maybe another 40 to 50 units are in the works and will be ready by the first week of September. Some people have called and are ready to rent rooms in their homes.”

Pueblo is committed to living solutions

“The community has really tried to pull together to provide housing solutions,” Thurston said.

“I got a call from someone who has a lot outside in Pueblo West and he said we could park some RVs there. Since the workers who travel in RVs need utility hookups, the empty parking lot won’t work. “

Thurston said he appreciated how residents banded together to help. Some of the ideas were unique and “almost everyone has a story”.

“People really think. What is striking is that the community is really bringing their thoughts together to try and solve the problem, ”he said.

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Pueblo landlords rent to workers

The general contractor for the project, Wanzek, already has managers setting up their offices. One of these managers was able to secure a rent through Bob and Barbara Barr, who have been landlords for 15 years.

“These people are like a community and they travel from project to project and stay for one to four years. They are not temporary contractors, but this is their life – the couple we rented for have been doing it for 25 years, “said Barbara.

“They are used to this pattern and are fun to work with. They are tremendously responsible and understand what is expected. “

The Barrs chose to include utilities in their rent – with the exception of internet and cable – to help the traveling workers get used to it quickly. They have another home to rent and expect it to be ready by August 1st.

“(It’s) out in the country” by the couple’s hayfield, so it’s a bit rural and there are no houses, said Barbara.

“By August 1st, it will be where we want it, with the exception of the carpet in the basement. That was delay after delay and comes on August 15th. We’ll cut the rent by a week or two for everyone who moves in, ”she said.

Although the Barr’s have always been lucky enough to find good, long-term tenants, Barbara said it was exciting to see new projects and growth after Pueblo.

“Pueblo has a lot to offer. We’re not the ugly little stepsister anymore and it’s fun to watch, ”she said.

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Wanzek Senior Project Manager Ken Dean said local construction workers can apply to work on the project and this will help alleviate the housing shortage. Employees can apply at wanzek.com and click on the career tab.

Anyone with home or RV vacancies can contact Thurston at quantum156@gmail.com or call 252-9839.

Chieftain reporter Tracy Harmon covers business news. She can be reached by email at tharmon@chieftain.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/tracywumps.