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Stimulus Newsletter September 29 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 29, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshotCrews work on the wall that will become part of the I-82 eastbound overpass on the I-82 Valley Mall Boulevard improvements project. Employees worked more than 129,000 hours in August on Recovery Act projects, earning almost $5 million in payroll.

  • Washington met critical Recovery Act maintenance of effort requirement
  • Highway employees have earned more than $120 million in payroll to date 
  • Contractors completed the final 11 Recovery Act-funded rumble strip projects and one cable median barrier project 
  • WSDOT inspectors required improvements on two Recovery Act pavement projects 
  • Port Townsend completed its Upper Sims Way Improvements project 
  • One local highway project awarded in Ellensburg 
  • Important stimulus dates 
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

Washington met a key Recovery Act requirement, exceeding maintenance of effort – Earlier this month, WSDOT met a provision in Section 1201 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that required Governor Gregoire to certify to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation that Washington will maintain its effort with regard to State funding between February 17, 2009 and September 30, 2010 for the types of projects funded by the Recovery Act. As of September 2010, WSDOT had met spending targets for all required categories, which included highway infrastructure, aviation, rail, and public transportation. States that do not meet the requirement would be prohibited from receiving redistributed Federal-aid highway program obligation limitation in the August Redistribution process for FY 2011.

Workers continue construction of the I-405/NE 8Th to SR 520 - Braided Ramps project in early September. In August, employees working on state and local Recovery Act projects earned more than $4.9 million in payroll.Stimulus projects paid out nearly $5 million to employees in August – Employees on state and local highway projects receiving Recovery Act funds worked over 129,000 hours and earned payroll totaling $4.9 million in August. To date, employees have worked over 3.1 million hours on and earned more than $120 million from projects receiving stimulus funds. Now that 67% of the stimulus projects are operationally complete and fall weather has taken hold, WSDOT expects fewer labor hours to be reported through the fall and winter months. For more information, see the main Recovery Act Employment webpage.

Crews remove substandard pavement on two construction projects – Contractor crews recently removed and replaced pavement that did not meet WSDOT’s standards on two Recovery Act pavement projects. The replacement was required for 1,200 feet of asphalt on SR 14 in Vancouver and 27 concrete panels on I-82 near Granger. In both cases, the improvements were made at the contractors’ expense. WSDOT routinely inspects projects to ensure that the highest quality materials are used on the highway system. Materials are tested at intervals throughout the construction process to ensure that products meet state standards defined by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. In August, similar repairs were needed on a non stimulus-funded project on I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass.

One more local Recovery Act highway project completed

One more local Recovery Act highway project awarded

  • Ellensburg – Canyon Road Overlay/Umptanum to Jackson

T & I Committee focused on local transportation investments in latest hearing – The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held its latest hearing on transportation Recovery Act project delivery on September 29. Joyce Eleanor, CEO of Community Transit in Snohomish County, testified during the latest hearing on transportation Recovery Act performance on September 29.

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

Highlight of the week

WSDOT completed Recovery Act rumble strip projects –
On September 22, contractor crews from North Star Enterprises 1, Inc., completed the 11 centerline rumble strip projects that had been combined into one contract for efficiencies. The projects installed rumble strips on US 3, SR 7, SR 20, and other highways in western Washington. The projects, combined with 17 earlier completed projectsWSDOT and contractor crews installed centerline rumblestrips on highways across Washington to reduce the frequency of crossover collisions. in northwest Washington and eastern Washington, have added hundreds of miles of new centerline rumble strips to warn drivers when they are crossing over the centerline. The Recovery Act provided $3 million for rumble strip projects statewide.

As of June 2010, WSDOT has installed 1,488 miles of centerline rumble strips on two-lane highways and had 390 miles of construction under contract. When the projects are complete, WSDOT will have covered roughly one-half of all miles of the two-lane highway system that were initially identified as candidates for centerline rumble strips.

The most recent Gray Notebook (p. 8) quarterly accountability report includes an in-depth before and after analysis of 493 miles of highway with at least one full year of collision data available both before and after the rumble strips were installed. The analysis showed a 44.5% decrease in all collisions and a 48.6% decrease in fatal and serious injury collisions.

Also recently, WSDOT completed the US 395/Wandermere to Half Moon Road Vicinity – Median Cable Barrier project. The project is one of 11 completed Recovery Act funded projects to install or upgrade cable median barrier on state highways. Two additional projects are under way on US 101 and SR 303 and are now expected to be completed in November. Information on the statewide Recovery Act cable median barrier projects is available at the program’s website.

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%)

112 (66%)

145 (67%)

One additional project completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

47 (96%)

162 (95%)

209 (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)









12 new projects completed this week





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

August employment





Payroll (in millions)



$4.9 for August

Cumulatively, $120.7 million to date - Average wage is $38 per hour




for August

Employees have worked 3,128,721 hours to date




for August

FTE = 173 hours per month




3,998 for August

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