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Stimulus Newsletter May 19, 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.

May 19, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshotCrews work on the I-90 Two Way Transit project between Mercer Island and Bellevue. The project wrapped up last week.

  • More than 100 state and local highway projects now completed
  • I-90/Two Way Transit project wraps up 
  • Five new stimulus projects certified 
  • TIGER project to be re-advertised in June 
  • WSDOT holds open house on Point Defiance Bypass rail project 
  • Important stimulus dates 
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

More than 100 Recovery Act projects completed – WSDOT and local governments reported nine more Recovery Act projects complete this week. To date, 107 of 212 certified Recovery Act projects have been completed, including 21 state projects and 86 local projects. Two of the projects, in Wilbur and Wahkiakum County, were combined with existing state projects for efficiencies. The projects reported complete this week are:

Five more stimulus projects certified on May 17 – Governor Gregoire certified five more projects to receive federal highway stimulus funds on May 17. The projects will receive more than $3.8 million in surplus local Recovery Act funds due to favorable bids on earlier stimulus projects. Two projects planned to receive stimulus funds in Spokane ($2.5 million) and Bothell ($1 million) will no longer need Recovery Act funds due to low bids. The new certified projects are:

  • Airway Heights – Lawson Street Reconstruction
  • Bainbridge Island – Manitou Beach Drive and N. Madison Avenue Overlay –
    Phase 1
  • King Co. Transit – Bus Replacement
  • Cheney – 2010 Arterial Street Preservation Project
  • Spokane – Wellesley Ave – Assembly to Driscoll

TIGER North Spokane Corridor project to be readvertised –WSDOT will re-advertise the contract for the North Spokane Corridor TIGER Project in early June. The Federal Highway Administration has concurred with WSDOT to re-advertise based on ambiguity in the contract documents. Some of the contract requirements were interpreted differently by contractors, especially the “Buy American Certification.” Therefore, all four contractor bids received on the project have been rejected. The project to add southbound lanes on a 3.7 mile stretch of the North Spokane Corridor between Frances Avenue and Farwell Road received a $35 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant on February 17. Construction is still expected to start in summer 2010 with completion in late 2011 or possibly early 2012. See the project webpage for more information.

Seattle Mercer Street project holds bid opening May 19 - The City of Seattle was awarded $30 million in TIGER funds for the Mercer Corridor Project. The Mercer project is a key component to the full transportation system improvements as it will better connect the bored tunnel Alaska Way Viaduct replacement and SR 520. This project also provides relief from the “Mercer mess” in the central corridor of South Lake Union and its neighborhoods. The total contract is estimated at $70.8 million. It was advertised for construction on March 10, 2010 and bids will open on May 19th with a planned award date in mid July. Visit the project webpage for more information.

Nearly 100 community members attended WSDOT’s Point Defiance Bypass Rail project open house – On May 17, WSDOT held an informational open house in Lakewood to discuss the Point Defiance Bypass project. The project is planned to increase reliability and improve service by rerouting passenger trains to an existing rail lane along the west side of I-5 through Tacoma, Lakewood, and DuPont. Passenger trains currently share the freight route along the coastline around Point Defiance. WSDOT received $590 million in High Speed Innercity Passenger Rail grant funding in January.

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee plans Recovery Act progress hearing –
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold its latest hearing on the stimulus on May 26. Washington ranked 15th nationwide in the committee’s May 5 rankings for percent of Recovery Act funds out to bid, under contract, and under way. The committee’s website also provides the latest report on Recovery Act progress and state data by funding program.

Highlight of the week

Recovery Act-funded preservation work wraps up on I-90 between Bellevue and Mercer Island

Travelers and commuters on Interstate 90 are enjoying a smoother, safer ride between Bellevue and Mercer Island with the completion of pavement preservation work paid for with federal stimulus dollars. Earlier this week WSDOT’s contractor, Interstate Improvement Inc., wrapped up the $7.6 million project, which began in January.

This three-mile stretch of I-90 carries about 133,000 vehicles on an average day. The project was designed to keep people and freight moving by preserving and strengthening existing concrete panels on both directions of I-90 between Bellevue and Seattle.

The work is part of the I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operations Project which adds high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-90 between Bellevue Way SE and W Mercer Way and improves HOV access to and from the freeway in Mercer Island and Bellevue. The new lanes on the outer roadways will add 24-hour HOV lanes to both directions of I-90 and enable Sound Transit to start building light rail across Lake Washington in the center lanes.

Important dates

May 20: Next performance report due to House T & I Committee
May 26: Next T & I Recovery Act hearing
June 4: FRA holds National Rail Plan meeting in Portland
July 10: Next performance report due to Office of Management and Budget
July 16: TIGER II pre-application deadline 
August 11: Transit application deadline for TIGGER grants 
August 23: Final TIGER II application deadline
September 30: Deadline for obligating Recovery Act highway funds

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%)

86 (52%)

107 (50%)

Nine additional projects completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

45 (96%)

155 (94%)

200 (94%)

Includes completed projects


47 (100%)

155 (94%)

202 (95%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisement

0 (0%)

10 (5%)

10 (5%)

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%)

165 (100%)

212 (100%)

Five additional projects certified 
this month

Projects obligated2

47 (100%)

157 (95%)

204 (96%)

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

March employment





Payroll (in millions)



for March

Cumulatively, $72 million to date 
Average wage is $38 per hour




171,263 for March

Employees have worked 1,867,991 hours to date




for March

FTE = 173 hours per month




for March

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