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Stimulus Newsletter March 10, 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 10, 2010

The stimulus story this week

Two Washington State projects receiving TIGER grants are scheduled for advertisement in March. The city of Seattle advertised the Mercer Corridor project on March 10 and WSDOT plans to advertise a North Spokane Corridor project on March 22. Three more local Recovery Act projects have been certified to receive stimulus funds. WSDOT awarded contracts for 11 additional rumble strip projects and a ferry terminal seismic retrofit project. WSDOT and local governments continue to advance more Recovery Act projects for construction.

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 week

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



37 (79%)

148 (91%)

185 (89%)

Includes completed projects


47 (100%)

155 (96%)

202 (97%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisment

0 (100%)

7 (4%)

7 (3%)

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 projects were obligated on February 19, 2010, before the March 2, 2010 deadline. Three additional projects were certified on March 8 to receive unused Recovery Act funds due to low bids, and have not been obligated.
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 TIGER projects prepare for advertisement – On March 10, the City of Seattle advertised the South Lake Union Mercer Corridor Improvements project, which received a $30 million Recovery Act grant through the competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant process in February. WSDOT plans to advertise the US 395/NSC – Francis Ave. to Farwell Rd Southbound – New Alignment project, which received a $35 million TIGER grant, on March 22. Both projects are planned to begin construction this year.

Additional projects are eligible to receive surplus funds after the obligation deadline – WSDOT and local governments obligated all $492 million in Recovery Act highway funds on February 19, before the March 2 deadline to obligate all funds. Any obligated funds that are no longer needed to complete a project can be obligated to other existing or additional Recovery Act projects before September 30, 2010. An obligation is a commitment – the Federal government’s promise to pay the State for the Federal share of a project’s eligible cost. The commitment occurs when the project is approved by the Federal Highway Administration and the accompanying project agreement is executed. Due to favorable bids, stimulus projects are averaging well under their anticipated budgets. Surplus funds originally obligated to projects are being used to deliver additional projects.

Washington certified three additional local projects to receive Recovery Act funds – On March 8, Governor Gregoire certified three more local projects to receive Recovery Act highway funds as well as the two projects to receive TIGER grant funds. Cost reductions on earlier Recovery Act projects will allow local governments to advance additional projects for construction. The three additional local projects will receive a total of almost $1.5 million.

  • Bothell – Annual Arterial Roadway Preservation
  • Everett – ARRA HMA Overlay
  • Lakewood – Lakewood Traffic Signal Upgrades Phase 3 – Fiber Interconnect

More WSDOT safety projects awarded – WSDOT advertised a contract for 11 centerline rumble strip improvement projects on March 3. To date, WSDOT has awarded 28 state rumble strip safety projects receiving Recovery Act funds.

One WSDOT Recovery Act ferry terminal project awarded –
WSDOT awarded the contract for a ferry terminal seismic retrofit at Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal Slip 1 on March 4.

Key issues: National

All states met deadline to obligate 100% of Recovery Act transit funds – Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the states met the deadline to obligate all Federal Transit Administration stimulus funds before March 5, 2010. Transit funds have supported the purchase of almost 12,000 buses, vans, and rail vehicles and the building or improvement of 850 transit facilities nationwide. The FTA announced the final 191 projects receiving $600 million in funds on March 3. The final obligations included $3.2 million to WSDOT for ferry vessel improvements.

More than 12,000 Recovery Act highway projects obligated – The Federal Highway Administration reported on its website it has obligated almost $26.1 billion to 12,071 projects. Of those projects, 7,700 under way, including 2,200 that are completed.

Government Accountability Office releases fifth update on stimulus performance – The Recovery Act included $25 million for the Government Accountability Office to review and investigate stimulus spending and procedures. The agency released its fifth report on the Recovery Act using a review of 16 states and the District of Columbia. Its recommendations included asking the Secretary of Transportation to collect regular reports on state maintenance of effort requirements under the Recovery Act.

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

Recovery Act helps fund busy construction season on I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass

WSDOT is gearing up for another busy construction season on I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. WSDOT kicks off the season at the end of March by resuming work on the Recovery Act- funded I-90 Lake Easton to Bullfrog Project.

Starting as early as March 29, weather permitting, approximately 60 crew members from Gary Merlino Construction (Seattle) will pick up where they left off last year by removing and replacing the remaining three miles of deteriorating concrete and asphalt shoulders in the right-hand lane of westbound I-90 from near the Nelson Siding Road to Lake Easton. They will also replace severely cracked panels in the left-hand lane and grind the surface of the road for a smoother, safer ride. To complete this work, WSDOT will close the westbound on- and off-ramps at Exit 71 (Easton Road) and the eastbound on-ramp at Exit 70 (Sparks Road) from early April to May 31.

WSDOT will use a detailed traffic shift plan to keep crews safe and traffic moving through the construction zone. Monday through Friday mornings, crews will restrict traffic to one lane in each direction. During weekends (from Friday morning to Sunday evening), crews will open two travel lanes in the peak travel direction during peak travel times. Crews will complete the project by the end of June.

The $18.4 million Lake Easton to Bullfrog project is one of four construction projects on I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass this year. WSDOT will begin construction on the second construction contract of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project this spring. Crews will begin construction on the I-90 Keechelus Dam to Cabin Creek eastbound paving project and the I-90 Lake Easton to Big Creek Bridge eastbound concrete replacement project this summer. 


Important dates

March 17: Planned bid opening date for Lewis and Clark Bridge Painter and I-90/Lake Easton to Big Creek Bridge Concrete Rehabilitation projects
March 20: Next performance report due to House T & I Committee 
March 22:
Planned advertisement date for the North Spokane Corridor TIGER project
April 10: Third quarterly performance report due to OMB

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