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Stimulus Newsletter April 21, 2010

During the peak of the Recovery Act, Stimulus News You Can Use was one way WSDOT kept transportation stakeholders updated on the fast-moving effort to put people to work and improve the state’s infrastructure. Each edition contained information on project delivery and highlights. Visit the Newsletter Archive for earlier editions.

April 21, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshotTwo projects on I-5 in Cowlitz and Lewis Counties are complete. A third begins soon.

  • I-82 project ground breaking near Yakima 
  • Tier 3 paving project awarded for SR 503 in Cowlitz County 
  • WSDOT prepares third I-5 Recovery Act project between Kelso and Centralia 
  • Federal Recovery Act accountability reports submitted 
  • Key April and May dates
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

WSDOT breaks ground on I-82/Valley Mall Interchange project – State and local officials joined with legislators and business owners on April 20 to celebrate the start of the $34.3 million I-82 Valley Mall Boulevard Interchange project that will relieve congestion and improve safety near one of the area’s busiest intersections. The project will reconfigure the Valley Mall Boulevard interchange to provide better, more direct access to and from I-82 and North Rudkin Road, and improve connections to the interstate for both Union Gap and Yakima. Three new roundabouts will circulate traffic more safely and efficiently through this congested area. More than 22,000 vehicles use the I-82 Valley Mall Boulevard interchange every day making it a challenge to navigate through during peak travel times.

WSDOT awarded Tier 3 Recovery Act project in Cowlitz County – WSDOT awarded the SR 503/1 mile East of Rock Creek Bridge to Frederickson Road – Paving project on April 15. The project will pave a 10-mile section of SR 503 near Lake Merwin. This Tier 3 project is receiving $3.4 million in Recovery Act funds due to low bids on earlier advertised Tier 1 and Tier 2 projects. Seven Tier 3 projects have been advertised, including six that are awarded or are under way.

One additional local Recovery Act project awarded – The city of Bellingham awarded its Bakerview and Hannegan/Woburn project on April 29. The project, which will provide preservation resurfacing on arterial roads, is receiving $1.3 million in Recovery Act funds.

New federal audit to review high-speed rail access agreements – The Federal Rail Administration required states applying for $8 billion in Recovery Act funds to obtain access agreements with private freight railroads for access to operate the passenger rail lines. The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General announced plans in an April 12 memo to audit the access agreements that states submitted in their applications last year. The review is designed to determine whether the agreements comply with federal law and guidance, as well as whether the agreements address cost, schedule, and performance goals.

Reporting submitted for the third OMB Quarterly Report – States and local governments receiving stimulus funds submitted detailed quarterly Recovery Act accountability reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The reporting will be published on the federal stimulus website on April 30.

Highlight of the week

Third I-5 Recovery Act project to be delivered in Cowlitz and Lewis counties
Federal stimulus funds are helping to improve I-5 between Kelso and Centralia.
Thanks in part to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, three projects to improve safety, enhance drivability and preserve pavement on I-5 are being delivered in Cowlitz and Lewis counties to keep drivers safe and traffic moving.

The I-5, North Kelso to Harrison Avenue project is the final project in this three-part series and will repave and improve a six-mile gap between two recently completed projects on the I-5 corridor. The I-5 North Kelso to Castle Rock project completed in November of last year improved 14 miles of interstate and the I-5, Koontz to Harrison Avenue project completed in October improved eight miles. Over 20 miles of guardrail, lighting and signs will also be upgraded through this final project.

Crews continue work to install nearly 20,000 feet of new guardrail to meet current design standards throughout the project limits. In addition, work has begun on I-5 between Kelso and Castle Rock vicinities to retrofit over 1,000 concrete panels with epoxy coated dowel bars. Retrofitting concrete panels with dowel bars helps to prevent shifts in the panels resulting from heavy freight traffic and normal wear and tear on the roadway. 

Important dates

April 29: Tentative bid opening for the North Spokane Corridor TIGER project
April 30: Stimulus data to be published to
May 20: Next performance report due to House T & I Committee

Websites of interest

WSDOT ARRA website:
Washington recovery website:
Federal recovery website:
FHWA recovery website:
Federal Transit Administration recovery website:
Federal Rail Administration recovery website:
Federal Aviation Administration recovery website:
OMB recovery website:

This week by the numbers (project dollars in millions)

Individual highway projects





Operationally complete

21 (45%)

74 (46%)

95 (45%)

No additional projects completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

44 (94%)

152 (94%)

196 (94%)

Includes completed projects


47 (100%)

157 (97%)

204 (98%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisement

0 (0%)

5 (3%)

5 (2%)

These projects are planned for upcoming advertisement

Total highway funds





Obligated funds2

$340 (100%)

$152 (100%)

$492 (100%)

All funds were obligated by
March 2, 2010

Projects certified

47 (100%)

162 (100%)

209 (100%)

Three additional projects certified
in March

Projects obligated2

47 (100%)

159 (98%)

206 (99%)

FHWA has approved funds for the projects

Safety funding buckets ($12 stimulus)









State stimulus funds only





Includes completed projects





Includes completed and awarded projects

Transit projects




State total

Percent of total $179 awarded




Includes Washington State Ferries projects

Number of Transit projects obligated

35 of 35

19 of 19

20 of 20

55 of 55
FTA counts all rural projects as one project

February employment





Payroll (in millions)



for February

Cumulatively, $65 million to date 
Average wage is $38 per hour




130,888 for February

Employees have worked 1,696,728 hours to date




for February

FTE = 173 hours per month




for February

Note: Not a count of unique employees

This includes one state project that has stimulus funding authorized for pre-construction and is currently under way. 
2 All funds were obligated by the March 2, 2010 deadline as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As projects develop, obligation totals will fluctuate as funds are deobligated due to low bids or savings are realized on project closeouts. Unobligated ARRA balances available to the Highway Construction Program will be used to fund Tier 3 projects. Local ARRA balances will be made available to three additional local projects which were certified on March 8. After September 30, 2010, ARRA funds may not be re-obligated and any balances will be turned over to FHWA for distribution back to the states for project cost increases. 

Last revised on April 11, 2014