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Stimulus Newsletter September 22 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.

September 22, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshot

  • WSDOT completes two projects in Douglas County 
  • Three more projects advertised 
  • Clark County and City of Cheney completed local projects 
  • Traffic study under way for rail project review in Lakewood 
  • Recovery Act construction projects continue on I-5 in Pierce County 
  • Important stimulus dates 
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

WSDOT completed two projects on US 97 in Douglas County – On September 15, contractor crews from Granite Northwest, Inc., completed the US 97/ South of Chelan Falls – Passing Lane and US 97/Orondo Northward – Paving projects in Douglas County. The US 97 projects constructed a passing lane where there have been numerous passing-related collisions due to limited passing opportunities and upgraded the structural integrity and extended the life of about 13 miles of the highway’s existing asphalt surface. Both projects received surplus Recovery Act funds due to low bids on earlier stimulus-funded projects.

Three more Recovery Act highway projects advertised

Two more local Recovery Act highway projects completed

Series of accountability reports due in October – WSDOT and other Washington recipients of Recovery Act funds are preparing performance reports for the federal Office of Management and Budget and the state Office of Financial Management. Both reports are due in October; the data will be published this fall at and These reports include information on project delivery, completions, and Recovery Act-funded labor. More information on Washington’s accountability reports can be found on the WSDOT stimulus reporting webpage.

  • The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will also collect data on stimulus projects in October. The committee will hold its next hearing on transportation Recovery Act performance on September 29.

Traffic study under way in Lakewood for rail project review – On September 21, WSDOT and its contractor HDR Engineering began traffic data collection in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord area near I-5. Drivers can expect to see traffic counting equipment, including cameras at Berkeley Street, North Thorne Lane, Barksdale Avenue and 41st Division Drive. Data collection will take place through September 30 and is weather dependent.

The data will be used to create traffic models to anticipate what effect adding Amtrak trains to the nearby rail line will have on traffic in the area. The data will be included in a Spring 2011 report. WSDOT is proposing to reroute Amtrak Cascades service through DuPont, Lakewood and Tacoma bypassing Point Defiance to allow for faster travel times, and in the future, more round trips between Seattle and Portland. The current route includes a tunnel at Point Defiance that is a leading source of congestion for the passenger service. To see a map of the project area and learn more about the Point Defiance Bypass project, visit its website.

Federal Transportation Blog highlights this week – Check the WSDOT Federal Issues blog for recent items on infrastructure investments, federal funding, and updates on the planned transportation reauthorization bill.

Highlight of the week

Construction continues on I-5 in Lakewood as crews replace more panels –
Two more weekends of major lane closures and delays on Interstate 5 are coming to the Lakewood area as crews rehabilitate rutted and damaged concrete on the 50-year-old roadway.

WSDOT is replacing 80 additional worn and broken roadway panels this fall, thanks to savings from other federal stimulus projects.

“We are able to make taxpayers’ dollars go further due to the favorable bid climate,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “This work will give drivers a better and more reliable road for decades to come.”

The I-5/Martin Way to 48th Street project will provide motorists a quieter and smoother drive with fewer ruts, bumps, and cracks, while extending the roadway’s life about 20 years. However, drivers need to be prepared for delays.

“Major backups are possible during the next round of weekend closures and we will rely heavily on drivers avoiding the area,” said WSDOT Region Administrator Kevin Dayton. “The last time we had this type of closure, motorists listened to our pleas to avoid I-5 in Lakewood and we saw traffic volumes drop by over 40 percent with backups reaching six miles – four miles less than anticipated. We are going to need drivers’ cooperation again.”

Closures are scheduled for Sept. 24-26 and Oct. 1-3, weather permitting. The two additional weekends of lane closures add to the nine that occurred between May and June on a 25½-mile rehabilitation project between Martin Way in Lacey and 48th Street in Tacoma. The contractor, Penhall Co. of Minnesota, is replacing the concrete slab panels, each measuring 15 feet long, 12 feet wide and nine inches thick.

Important dates

September 30: Deadline for obligating Recovery Act highway funds
Fall: Next high-speed rail grant announcements expected
Fall: TIGER II award announcements expected
October 10: Next quarterly accountability report due
October 20: Next accountability report to the T & I Committee

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

34 (69%)

111 (65%)

145 (66%)

Four additional projects completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

47 (96%)

161 (95%)

208 (95%)

Includes completed projects


49 (100%)

164 (96%)

213 (97%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisement

0 (0%)

6 (4%)

6 (3%)

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%)

170 (100%)

219 (100%)

Two additional projects certified 
in September

Projects obligated2

49 (100%)

170 (100%)

219 (100%)

FHWA has approved funds for the projects

Safety funding buckets ($12 stimulus)














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

July employment





Payroll (in millions)



$6.9 for July

Cumulatively, $113.9 million to date 
- Average wage is $38 per hour




for July

Employees have worked 2,948,436 hours to date




for July

FTE = 173 hours per month




3,998 for July

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