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Stimulus Newsletter August 18 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 18, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshotCrews prepare to place the girders on the NE 12th Street Bridge over I-405 in Bellevue as part of a Recovery Act project. The last of the 100-ton girders was placed on August 11.

  • Paving begins on SR 14 in Clark County 
  • WSDOT applied for $80 million in High-Speed Rail funds 
  • New SR 501 overpass opens in Ridgefield 
  • Four more local projects completed 
  • Girders placed for new bridge over I-405 
  • Important stimulus dates 
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

SR 14 paving project began this week – Construction is under way in Vancouver as crews began paving SR 14 between I-5 and SE 164th Avenue on August 17. The $3.9 million project received $2.1 million in funds from the Recovery Act allowed WSDOT to begin construction this year. The project rejuvenates aging pavement and repairs ruts and potholes created by harsh weather, increased freight traffic and use of tire chains on SR 14. While much of the work is expected to be complete this fall, its completion is set for 2011.

Washington applied for $80 million in high-speed intercity passenger rail grants – In the quest to expand high-speed intercity passenger rail and continue to provide alternative transportation choices, WSDOT applied for $80 million in additional grants for the Amtrak Cascades rail corridor. The applications seek funding for infrastructure improvements to the high-speed rail system connecting major cities of Portland, OR Seattle WA and Vancouver BC.  The Federal Railroad Administration announced the agency received 77 applications from 25 states totaling $8.5 billion. The grant applications are part of the $2.3 billion to be awarded in the fall and follow the $8 billion in Recovery Act funds awarded in January. Washington already received $590 million for High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail improvements in January.

Four local Recovery Act highway projects completed –

Ten new 100-ton girders placed for bridge over I-405 – Crews successfully placed the 10th and final 100-ton girder for the new NE 12th Street Bridge over I-405 in Bellevue and reopened all lanes of southbound I-405 to traffic on August 11. It’s the first milestone for a construction project that will relieve area traffic congestion in 2012. This work is part of a larger project with a $107.5 million construction contract known as the I-405 Bellevue Braids that will improve congestion between I-405 and SR 520 by separating vehicles entering and exiting north bound I-405 between NE Eighth Street and SR 520 in Bellevue. WSDOT leveraged $58 million in Recovery Act funds to complete the gas tax-funded project that faced potential delays.

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

Highlight of the week

New SR 501 overpass bridge opens above I-5 in Ridgefield

The new SR 501 overpass at the I-5 interchange in Ridgefield will open to drivers on Tuesday, Aug. 17, as part of a larger $23 million safety and mobility project. Drivers will be switched from the old overpass to the new wider and safer overpass.

The new four-lane bridge will temporarily open two lanes while construction continues on the new I-5 on and off-ramps. Moving traffic onto the new overpass gives crews room to finish construction. The new ramps are being built across the old SR 501 alignment and cannot be constructed while traffic is still on it.

Demolition of the old bridge is set for early September and requires complete closures of I-5 in one direction at a time. Drivers will be detoured over the SR 501 on- and off-ramps while crews use excavators with concrete shears to crush and remove tons of steel and concrete above I-5. The I-5/SR 501 Ridgefield Interchange project improves safety and mobility on state and local roads by building a wider bridge to take SR 501 over I-5 and improving the I-5 ramps.

The project is funded through state and local funding sources and received Recovery Act funds, allowing the Washington State Department of Transportation to begin construction earlier than anticipated. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2011 or early 2012. 

Important dates

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 14: 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%)

104 (62%)

132 (61%)

Four additional projects completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

47 (96%)

161 (96%)

208 (96%)

Includes completed projects


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