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Stimulus Newsletter, March 31, 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.

March 31, 2010

The stimulus story this week

WSDOT and local governments continue to advance Recovery Act projects planned for construction this year. Three projects were awarded, including two state Recovery Act projects in Douglas County and a local project in Rockford. Construction begins this week on a Tier 2 project upgrading concrete panels and performing dowel bar retrofits on I-5 between Lacey and Tacoma. Also, a Recovery Act safety project installing new cable median barrier on I-5 in Clark County was completed in March. An update on Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation shows DBEs through February are expected to provide over $32.9 million in work on Recovery Act projects.

This week by the numbers (project dollars in millions)

Individual highway projects





Total highway funds





Obligated funds

$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 this month

Projects obligated1

47 (100%)

159 (98%)

206 (99%)

FHWA has approved funds for the projects

Project delivery to date

Operationally complete

21 (45%)

70 (43%)

91 (44%)

No new projects reported complete this edition



42 (89%)

149 (92%)

191 (91%)

Includes completed projects


47 (100%)

157 (96%)

204 (98%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisment

0 (100%)

5 (3%)

5 (2%)

These projects
are planned for upcoming advertisement

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

January employment





Payroll (in millions)



for January

Cumulatively, $57.5 million in payroll to date 
Average wage is $38 per hour




for January

Employees have worked 1,505,257 hours to date




for January

FTE = 173 hours per month




for January

Note: Not a count of unique employees

1 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.
2 This includes one state project that has stimulus funding authorized for pre-construction and is currently under way. This includes one state project that has stimulus funding authorized for pre-construction and is currently under way.

Key issues: State

Two state stimulus projects awarded on US 97 in Douglas County – WSDOT awarded a Recovery Act contract for the US 97/South of Chelan Falls – Passing Lane Tier 2 project and the US 97/Orondo Northward – Paving Tier 3 project on March 29. The contract will upgrade the asphalt for 12.81 miles of US 97 north of Orondo and add a 1.08 mile passing lane along the stretch. The two projects were combined into one contract for efficiency. On March 29, the contract was awarded to Granite Northwest Inc. of Wenatchee. The projects received just over $2.5 million in stimulus funds due to low bids on the initial list of stimulus projects.

WSDOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Recovery Act Participation – WSDOT has identified opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) to participate in Recovery Act projects.

  • Out of 142 Recovery Act contracts awarded through February, totaling $408,439,345, WSDOT has achieved 8%, or $32,944,928 in DBE participation.
  • WSDOT and local governments have awarded five Recovery Act prime contracts to DBEs and prime contractors have awarded 164 subcontracts to DBEs.
  • WSDOT co-sponsored the Regional Contracting Forum on March 30. Seven different WSDOT divisions attended this reverse trade show designed to provide small business owners, primarily minority and women owned firms, with direct access to regional contracting representatives.

Construction begins on Tier 2 Recovery Act project in Thurston and Pierce Counties – Work begins this week on the I-5/Martin Way to 48th St Dowel Bar/Panel Replacement project in Thurston and Pierce counties. The project will replace 295 concrete panels and install dowel bars over a 25.5 mile stretch of I-5 from Lacey to Tacoma. The Tier 2 project received $8.4 million in Recovery Act funds due to low bids on several Tier 1 stimulus projects. Construction, lane closures and congestion will become all too familiar at night and on weekends this spring and summer as WSDOT and its contractor, Penhall Company, replace concrete panels and smooth the surface. Construction is expected to continue through September.

One local Recovery Act project awarded – Rockford in Spokane County awarded the contract for its First Street/Emma Street Sidewalks project on March 17. The project is expected to receive about $480,000 in Recovery Act funds and will remove and replace sidewalk on First Street and Emma Street in Rockford.

Key issues: National

Reporting begins tomorrow for third OMB Quarterly Report – States and local governments receiving stimulus funds will submit detailed quarterly Recovery Act accountability reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget starting on April 1. Recipients of federal funds will report employment and financial data for stimulus grants and contracts, including highway, aviation, transit, and ferries projects. Data in the reports will be published on the federal stimulus website,

Congressional hearing planned on high-speed rail – Next month in Chicago, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s subcommittee on railroads is holding its first hearing on high-speed rail since the $8 billion in stimulus awards were announced in January. The April 20 hearing is titled, “High-Speed Rail Grants Awarded Under the Recovery Act.” The hearing will be held in Chicago, where three routes are receiving Recovery Act funds. The grants included $1.1 billion for improvements between St. Louis and Chicago, $12 million for the route between Milwaukee and Chicago, and $244 million for improvements between Detroit and Chicago. Washington received $590 million for high-speed rail improvements between Seattle and Portland.

WSDOT blog is following congressional deliberations over transportation funding – The WSDOT Federal Transportation Issues blog is providing updates on the federal transportation funding act’s reauthorization in Washington, D.C.

Highlight of the week

Cable median barrier project completed north of Vancouver

WSDOT recently finished installing an additional 15 miles of cable barrier along I-5 between Woodland and Vancouver, thanks to $9 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for cable median barrier installation statewide.

This stretch of I-5 was identified as a priority, and crews started working in January to upgrade the cable barrier from low-tension to high-tension.

Although no barrier can prevent every collision, high-tension cable barrier stops vehicles from crossing the median 95 percent of the time, reducing the potential for dangerous and often times deadly cross-over collisions.

For more information about WSDOT’s statewide Cable Barrier Retrofit project, please visit

Important dates

April 10: Third quarterly performance report due to OMB
April 20: Next performance report due to House T & I Committee
April 20: House T & I Subcommittee holds next Recovery Act hearing
April 30: Stimulus data to be published to

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:

Last revised on April 11, 2014