WSDOT Runs Down Stimulus News

This week by the numbers (project dollars in millions)

Individual highway projects





Total funds





Obligated funds1

$267 (77%)

$142.6 (94%)

$409.6 (83%)

All funds must be obligated by March 2, 2010

Projects certified

40 (100%)

156 (100%)

196 (100%)

Four new individual projects certified on November 13

Projects obligated

39 (98%)

143 (90%)

182 (93%)

FHWA has obligated some or all funds for the projects

Project delivery to date

Operationally complete

20 (50%)

64 (41%)

84 (43%)

Six projects reported complete this week

under way2 

32 (80%)

135 (87%)

167 (85%)

Includes completed projects


36 (90%)

142 (91%)

178 (91%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisment

3 (8%)

14 (11%)

17 (9%)

These projects, including several receiving surplus funds, 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

33 of 35

18 of 19

20 of 20

52 of 55
FTA counts all rural projects as one project

October employment








for October

Cumulatively, $40 million in payroll to date  Average wage is $37 per hour




for October

Employees have worked 1,061,000 hours to date




for October

FTE = 173 hours per month




for October

Note: Not a count of unique employees

1$4M in state enhancement funds provided to locals. While WSDOT controls $340M, the total for obligation authority is $344M, which is the basis of the percentages in this table, and basis for USDOT review on 3/02/2010.
2This includes one state project that has stimulus funding authorized for pre-construction and is currently under way.


Key issues: State

Third tier Recovery Act projects come on line thanks to competitive bid climate – Lower construction bids have generated enough savings to allow the Washington State Department of Transportation to build seven more highway projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act than first expected.  The December 16 news release has more information. The seven new projects will receive $12.3 million in stimulus funds.

  • US 195/Idaho State Line to Colton – Paving ($2,600,000)
  • SR 503/1mi East of Rock Creek Bridge to Frederickson Rd – Paving ($3,440,000)
  • SR 14/I-5 to SE 164th Ave. Interchange – Paving ($2,160,000)
  • US 97/Orondo Northward – Paving – Chip Seal ($1,120,000)
  • US 97/Okanogan to Riverside – Chip Seal ($1,440,000)
  • US 97/Pateros South – Chip Seal ($560,000)
  • SR 26/Royal City East – Chip Seal ($960,000)

Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond attended White House Jobs Forum – The December 3 White House Jobs and Economic Growth Forum included a session on infrastructure investment as part of the nation’s economic and employment recovery efforts. Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond presented the case for increased federal infrastructure funding to President Obama and suggested the White House should expand the Recovery Act TIGER grant program to include more money. The $1.5 billion stimulus grant program attracted nearly 1,400 applications seeking over $56 billion. She was one of 150 guests invited to the summit to provide ideas for job creation.

  • The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to begin debating a jobs bill authorizing $37.3 billion for transportation on December 16. The WSDOT federal funding blog has more information.

Recovery Act funds provide three new Grape Line buses – Three new buses funded by federal stimulus dollars for the Grape Line have arrived and soon will begin carrying passengers between Walla Walla and Pasco. The new buses are the latest fruits from $1.9 million in Recovery Act funds for the Travel Washington Intercity Bus Program.

Crews are building new SR 501 bridge over I-5 in Clark County – Stage one of the I-5, SR 501 Ridgefield Interchange project is well under way. Crews are starting to drill large shafts deep into the middle of the interstate that will anchor the new SR 501 bridge. Once finished with the shafts in the median, crews will begin working on another set of shafts that will support the bridge abutments on each side of the interstate. Drilling shafts is the first step in the process of building the bridge.

  • The project, initially certified for $10 million in Recovery Act funds, is now expected to use only $8.2 million due to a low successful bid.
  • The interchange is scheduled to be complete in late 2011 or early 2012.

Tier 2 stimulus project awarded – The City of Monroe awarded the contract for intersection improvements on US 2 at Chain Lake Road at N. Lewis Street. The project received $2.95 million in Recovery Act funds made available due to low bids on other local stimulus projects.

Seven more highway projects completed – 
Local projects:

Four more Tier 2 highway projects advertised – WSDOT and local governments advertised four projects receiving surplus stimulus funds from earlier advertised projects.

Key issues: National

Stimulus job reporting guidance expected to change – The White House Office of Management and Budget is expected to provide new guidance on reporting stimulus job creation for the upcoming quarterly data submission in January. The guidance may affect the calculation of jobs saved and retained by Recovery Act projects. The updated guidance will be posted on the OMB stimulus webpage. WSDOT will continue to report monthly labor data on the measured employment webpage.

Five Washington tribes awarded Recovery Act grants – The Federal Transit Administration awarded stimulus funds to five Tribal Transit Programs in Washington State. The awards total over $1.22 million for new buses, other vehicles, equipment, and bus shelters. Nationwide, FTA awarded $17 million to 39 projects. The FTA news release has the full list of projects. The Washington stimulus projects are:

  • Spokane Tribe of Indians received $255,000 for six vehicles
  • Kalispel Tribe of Indians received $335,600 to purchase a bus, two vehicles, and dispatch equipment 
  • The Quinault Tribe of the Quinault reservation received $398,000 to purchase two buses 
  • The Confederated Tribes of the Yakima Nation received $112,000 to purchase 12 bus shelters and two support vehicles 
  • Tulalip Tribe received $126,748 for the purchase of three buses 
  • Additionally, eight Washington tribes received $2.67 million in non-stimulus federal transit grants

Congress provides more funds for high-speed rail – The 2010 Transportation funding bill Congress passed on December 13 includes $2.5 billion in new funding for High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) grants. President Obama is expected to sign the funding bill soon. The additional federal funds are planned to supplement the $8 billion in Recovery Act funds for the high speed rail program.

  • The Federal Rail Administration received applications from 24 states seeking about $50 billion funds and is expected to announce the selected projects in early 2010. Washington State applied for $1.3 billion in HSIPR stimulus funds.

Secretary LaHood hosted high-speed rail manufacturing conference – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood hosted a conference on domestic high-speed rail manufacturing on December 4 in Washington, D.C. LaHood said more than 30 rail manufacturers and suppliers committed to establish or expand operations in the United States if they are selected to build high-speed rail lines in the U.S.

  • The event’s news release includes a list of the companies participating.

National stimulus website plans changes to improve accuracy –, the federal government’s official stimulus website, announced new changes in a blog entry December 15. The website will allow stimulus recipients to make corrections more frequently and will post a new list of “errors, omissions, and non-reported awards,” to publicly identify incorrect or incomplete reports. Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board Chairman Earl Devaney wrote that the website has also been updated to better identify congressional districts. Mistakes in the first report identified some projects as occurring in congressional districts that do not exist.

House T & I Committee held oversight hearing December 10 – Minnesota Rep. Jim Oberstar, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, opened the hearing December 10, by saying the Recovery Act has created over 200,000 infrastructure jobs. Oberstar said the Federal Highway Administration’s $26.8 billion in stimulus projects are providing pavement improvements, widening, and enhancements that add up to 27,756.6 miles of road improvements nationwide.

FHWA has obligated 80% of stimulus funds nationwide – The Federal Highway Administration has obligated almost $21.4 billion to 9,580 projects, or 80% of $26.8 billion in Recovery Act highway funds. Of those projects, 5,639 costing $14.45 billion are under way, and nearly $5 billion has been spent.

Inspector General started a review of U.S. DOT Stimulus Reporting Oversight – The U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General initiated an audit of U.S. DOT oversight of the Section 1512 reporting required under the Recovery Act on December 11. All transportation stimulus recipients were required to post accountability reports on October, 10. The federal Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board requested the Inspector General’s audit.

Stimulus project of the week

Stimulus funds help improve pedestrian safety in Lynnwood
Work is underway on a project to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists at the I-5/196th Street SW interchange in Lynnwood.
Tri-State Construction crews are making great progress on a city of Lynnwood project that will improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists at the I-5/196th Street SW interchange. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided $1.25 million toward the $5.65 million project.

Crews are building a new walkway on the 196th Street SW overpass and a pedestrian bridge over the southbound I-5 off-ramp. The goal of the project is to make it safer and easier to cross I-5 at 196th Street SW on bike or foot. Currently, bicyclists and pedestrians must use a narrow sidewalk on 196th Street SW to travel between east and west Lynnwood. To access the Interurban Trail and Alderwood Boulevard on the west side of the interchange, they must cross 196th Street SW and wind their way through heavily-traveled local streets.

The new barrier-separated pedestrian walkway on the north side of the 196th Street SW bridge provides a safer, wider route across the interchange, separating vehicle traffic from pedestrians and bicyclists on the off-ramp. Finally, an elevated walkway will provide a safe connection to the popular Interurban Trail and Alderwood Boulevard. Crews started work in August and are on track to wrap up the project by next spring. 

Important dates

December 20: Next report to U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
January 6: Anticipated bid opening for I-5/North Kelso to Harrison Ave
January 10: Next quarterly report due to OMB
January 13: Anticipated bid opening for I-82/Valley Mall Blvd Interchange
February 17: Deadline for the U.S. Department of Transportation to announce TIGER grants and High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail awards (both are expected earlier)
March 2: Deadline for obligating federal highway funds

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: