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Stimulus Newsletter August 11 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.

August 11, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshot

  • 100th local Recovery Act highway project completed 
  • First Tier 3 project completed 
  • Three new local projects awarded to contractors
  • Paving starts on new HOV lanes in Tacoma 
  • Important stimulus dates 
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

Local governments have completed 100 Recovery Act highway projects – On August 2, Columbia County completed its Patit Creek Overlay project. The pavement preservation project received $465,000 in federal Recovery Act funds. To date, 167 local projects in Washington have been certified to receive $152 million in Federal Highway Administration stimulus funds. All completed projects are marked with green dots on the WSDOT stimulus project list.

Two WSDOT Recovery Act projects completed on US 195 – Contractors recently completed two stimulus-funded preservation projects on US 195, including the state’s first Tier 3 project. The US 195/Idaho State Line to Colton – Paving project, which received $2.6 million in Recovery Act funds due to low bids on earlier projects, was completed in July. The project in Whitman County was one of seven projects on the state’s Tier 3 list added in December 2009 due to low bids on earlier projects. The US 195/Hatch Road to I-90 – NB Dowel Bar Retrofit project was completed in June. The project received $2.8 million in Recovery Act funds to refurbish a five-mile section of the highway in Spokane County.

Three local Recovery Act highway projects awarded –

Washington applied for more high-speed rail funds – WSDOT submitted applications for a new round of high-speed rail grants on August 6. The 2010 federal budget appropriation included $2.5 billion for high speed rail improvements nationwide, of which $2.125 billion is directed for corridor projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to announce the winners in the grants on or before September 30. Funds will have to be obligated to the projects within two years of the award. The grant applications follow the $8 billion in Recovery Act funds awarded in January. Washington received $590 million for High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail improvements.

Federal Transportation Blog highlights this week – Check the WSDOT Federal Issues blog for recent items on reauthorization updates, livability, congressional earmarks, and the latest information on federal transportation funding reauthorization.

Highlight of the week

Paving starts on new I-5 carpool lanes

 Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) started paving new carpool lanes on I-5 in early August, work that will soon help ease congestion in Pierce County.

The stimulus-funded construction project is 70 percent complete and is on schedule and on budget. Since the project began in August 2009, crews have completed widening in the median and outside shoulders, built new I-5 bridges and installed high-performance median barrier.
Crews expect to spend two months paving all lanes I-5 in three-mile project limits to give drivers the final, smooth drCrews are widening the freeway in the median to accommodate HOV lanes, or carpool lanes, in both directions of I-5 from Port of Tacoma Road to the King County line. Construction continues through 2011.iving surface.

“Paving I-5 is the last major construction item before opening the carpool lanes to traffic,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT regional administrator. “This project is part of a broader effort to reduce congestion, improve safety and add carpool lanes in Pierce County.”

Paving is weather dependent and should take about eight weeks to complete. Drivers can expect nightly double- and triple-lane closures on I-5 between Port of Tacoma Road and the Pierce/King County line.

Crews first will pave the northbound lanes and wrap up by paving the southbound lanes. Once paving is complete crews focus on mitigation work, installing sign bridges, lighting, and overhead electronic message signs and traffic loops to provide drivers real-time traffic information. Construction is scheduled to be complete towards the end of 2011.

Important dates

August 11: Transit application deadline for TIGGER grants 
August 14: Ribbon cutting for Washougal SR 14 pedestrian tunnel project
August 20: Next accountability report to the T & I Committee
August 23: Final TIGER II application deadline
September 30: Deadline for obligating Recovery Act highway funds
September 30: Next high-speed rail grant announcements expected
October 10: Next quarterly accountability report due

Websites of interest

WSDOT ARRA website:
WSDOT Federal Transportation Issues blog:
Washington recovery website:
Federal recovery website:
FHWA recovery website:
Federal Transit Administration recovery website:
Federal Railroad 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

28 (57%)

100 (60%)

128 (59%)

Three additional projects completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

47 (96%)

161 (96%)

208 (96%)

Three new local projects awarded


47 (96%)

161 (96%)

208 (96%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisement

2 (4%)

6 (4%)

8 (4%)

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

49 (100%)

167 (100%)

216 (100%)

Two additional projects certified 
in July

Projects obligated2

47 (96%)

165 (99%)

212 (98%)

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

June employment





Payroll (in millions)



$8.8 for June

Cumulatively, $106 million to date 
Average wage is $38 per hour




for June

Employees have worked 2,743,055 hours to date




for June

FTE = 173 hours per month




for June

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.  
* TIGER projects are not included in this table.

Last revised on April 11, 2014