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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — McWane Cast Iron Pipe Co. says it's temporarily shutting down its Birmingham water-pipe plant because continued weakness in housing construction has reduced demand. The shutdown will idle 117 workers.

The plant hasn't been shut down since the late 1970s. It was built in 1921 and is the first of McWane's pipe, valve and hydro-fittings plants across North America.

The plant employed 500 people as recently as 2007 before the real estate market collapsed.

In February, U.S. Pipe announced plans to close its Birmingham pipe plant and eliminate 260 jobs. The company blamed the slow economy.

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