OAKLAND (KCBS) – Oakland’s job picture could be brightening a bit as workers are expected to return to the job soon at the site of Oakland International Airport’s new control tower.

Hundreds of airport construction projects were left in limbo and 60 workers were furloughed in Oakland as the Federal Aviation Administration was partially shut down for two weeks. But Congress passed legislation last week restoring the FAA’s operating authority.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said the resumption of work on the $31 million control tower comes at a much-needed time.

“If we can’t modernize and expand (our airport) and make it more efficient for more flights to come in to Oakland, that will hurt our goal of increasing tourism in the long run,” Quan said. “It will hurt both immediate jobs and also those in the long term.”

Quan said the partial shutdown of the project was just another case of politics getting in the way of building on projects aimed at getting the country out of the recession.

The FAA shutdown also led to the U.S. losing an estimated $400 million in uncollected airline taxes.

Nearly 4,000 FAA employees were also furloughed and most are expected to be able to return to work as early as Monday.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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