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Faces of the Shutdown: Bill Pirkl


It is a difficult thing to see the construction project on Highway 71 sitting idle," said Bill Pirkl.

Pirkl went from working his 16th year as a civil engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation to filing for unemployment.

"It's a scary, uneasy feeling," said Pirkl.

Pirkl has spent 15 years in traffic engineering, conducting traffic flow and managing road signs. He will be getting his old job back once the shutdown is over.

Pirkl is apprehensive about returning to new concerns of his job.

"There will be a number of issues when I get back," said Pirkl, "In Minnesota, we have a short const-ruction season and we don't have time to see projects sitting vacant."

Pirkl has been saving money for his family during the shutdown.

"We were prepared for it," he said.

Pirkl is determined to see the brighter side of his layoff, and is happy to spend more time with his three daughters.

"I get to be home with my girls," he said, "I guess if you're going to stay home, you should do it with family."

Faces of the shutdown