Construction companies that work on the $5.5 billion Pennsylvania prison pipeline have hired two new workers, bringing their total to five, in the wake of the shutdown of the construction contract between the company and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The new hires will be used to work on construction of the pipeline that will carry gas to prisons and detention centers, according to a DOJ press release.
The news comes just days after Trump announced his decision to close the prison pipeline project in response to growing protests over the pipeline, which would have carried more than 2.5 million gallons of natural gas per day from West Virginia to the Gulf Coast.
The pipeline is being shut down because of the protests and the pipeline’s proposed closure date, which is set for 2021.
The new construction jobs come as the Trump administration considers another round of funding for the prison construction project, and has threatened to withhold another $5 billion from the Justice Department’s budget if Congress does not approve another $1 billion to fund construction.
The construction contract is worth more than $1 trillion, according a 2016 report by the New America Foundation.
The DOJ has been working to complete the pipeline since 2013, and construction began in 2017.
The project, which was originally scheduled to cost $1,500 per job, has cost nearly $3.5 trillion, and the final costs could top $6 trillion, though the total would likely be lower.
The state of Pennsylvania spent $100 million on an additional 5,000 inmates in order to complete construction of a new prison in the state, according the report.