Contractor crews in Pacific County completed the second state highway project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) and four additional paving projects are nearing completion. Washington State Ferries has completed both ferry vessel preservation projects as crews finished painting the 188-vehicle Spokane ferry and 87-auto Evergreen State in July. Local governments continue to advance projects for construction with 16 new projects awarded this past week.
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This week by the numbers - as of August 4
Status of 36 state and 147 local ARRA highway projects
- 4 projects are substantially complete (2 state, 2 local)
- 122 projects have been awarded to contractors or are under construction (25 state, 97 local)
- 160 projects have been advertised to date (29 state, 131 local)
- 24 projects are certified, but not yet advertised
- 184 individual projects (36 state, 148 local) have been certified by the Governor
Status of 2 safety project funding buckets ($12 million)
- From those funds, 27 projects to install rumble strips and 6 cable median barrier projects have been advertised. 17 rumble strip projects and 6 cable median barrier projects have been awarded.
Employment status: WSDOT and local governments reported nearly $2.2 million in payroll over 57,698 hours in June as construction work increased.
- Approximately 334 full time equivalents were employed by the Recovery Act projects, at an average salary of $38 per hour.
Highway funds authorized:
- WSDOT has obligated $244.6 million (71%) of $344.6 million, and has until March 1, 2010 to obligate the rest. Funds are now obligated to 34 of 36 individual state projects. (The 2009 Supplemental transportation budget provided WSDOT with $340M in stimulus funding and provided $4M of state enhancements to local governments. For reporting purposes, WSDOT will be measured against obligating $344.6M; however, only $340M is available for state ARRA-funded projects.)
- Local governments have obligated 82% of local funds, $128.4 million of $152.1 million, and have until March 1, 2010 to obligate the rest. Funds are now obligated for 136 of 148 local projects. Three new projects were awarded, but the obligation amount did not increase because the new funds replaced reduced obligations from other projects.
Transit projects awarded:
- Statewide: Washington transit agencies have received awards for 95% of the $179 million designated for transit projects.
- Nonurban / rural: WSDOT and 10 transit agencies have received awards for 100% of the nearly $12.3 million designated for nonurban and rural transit projects.
- Small urban: Eight transit agencies have received awards for 93% of the $12.1 million designated for small urban transit projects.
- Large urban: Nine transit agencies and Washington State Ferries have received awards for 95% of the $154.1 million designated for large urban transit projects.
Key issues: State
Second state highway project completed on August – Crews completed the $2.5 million US 101/SR 103 – Fort Columbia Vicinity to Long Beach Vicinity paving and chip seal project. The project received over $390,000 in Recovery Act funding, which extended the length of the project allowing WSDOT to pave more of the highway needing a preservation overlay and to construct it earlier than planned.
- Crews from Morse Bros., Inc., dba Knife River, resurfaced and enhanced nearly 10 miles of roadway in Pacific County. The pavement was deteriorating due to age and normal wear.
- Crews completed the first WSDOT stimulus highway project on I-90 near Ellensburg in July.
Four more WSDOT highway projects are nearing completion –
- I-90/Slide Curve to Cabin Creek – Paving
- SR 155/Omak Eastward – Chip Seal
- SR 243/Mattawa Vicinity – Chip Seal
- SR 262/Potholes Reservoir Area – Chip Seal
Two WSDOT ferry projects completed – Low bids on the painting projects are expected to help WSF complete an additional vessel preservation project. The Evergreen State and Spokane projects cost $2,967,000 combined, below the original expectation of $4,246,000 – the amount the Puget Sound Regional Council voted to use for ferry vessel preservation.
- WSDOT Ferries Division used $2,053,000 in Recovery Act funds to complete a topside paint job and other preservation work on the 188-auto ferry Spokane. The vessel was delivered to Fairhaven Shipyard in Bellingham on April 6 and left the shipyard with is new paint job on July 18.
- The $914,000 Evergreen State painting project was completed on July 25.
Lynnwood and WSDOT began safety project on August 3 – Crews started work August 3 on a stimulus-funded city of Lynnwood project to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists at the I-5/196th Street SW interchange in Lynnwood. Crews will build a new walkway on the 196th Street overpass and a pedestrian bridge over the existing southbound I-5 off-ramp. The Recovery Act provided $1.25 million toward the $5.65 million project.
- Lane closures are scheduled to begin the week of Aug. 10. Crews expect to finish work next spring. For more details, visit the project webpage.
Sixteen more highway projects awarded
- Naches – 2nd Street and 3rd Street Resurfacing Project
- Franklin County – CRP 596 R170 Landslide Area – Phase 1
- Asotin County – Scenic Way Pavement Overlay Project
- Kittitas County – Guardrail Hazard Elimination Projects (Safety)
- Kittitas County – Yakima River Canyon Center Phase 1
- Klickitat County – South Columbus (MP 0.77 to 3.16)
- Klickitat County – Bickleton Hwy (MP 6.64 to 8.22)
- Toppenish – S. Toppenish Ave. and Washington Ave.
- Union Gap – N. Rudkin and Main/Ahtanum Rd Intersection Overlay
- Union Gap – Wide Hollow Creek Pathway – Phase 2
- Harrah – Harrah Road Improvements
- Selah – Speyers Rd Improvements
- Moses Lake – Lakeshore & Peninsula Reconstruction 2009
- Grant County – Fairgrounds Path
- Colfax – Fairview Street Overlay
- Renton – Rainier Avenue South (SR 167) Improvements Project – Phase 1: Shattuck Avenue Stormwater Bypass
Key issues: National
TIGER award date advanced to January – US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the $1.5 billion Recovery Act discretionary grants will be awarded one month early in an effort to speed funding for more stimulus highway projects. The awards will now be announced in January instead of February.
- WSDOT is preparing the grant applications due on September 15, 2009.
Recovery Act highway projects under construction nationwide – 2,406 stimulus projects costing almost $7.5 billion are under construction in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and on federal lands, the FHWA reported on its website. The FHWA has obligated almost $17.3 billion of $26.8 billion (65%) to 6,154 projects.
Congressional committee held its fourth hearing on July 31 – Chairman James Oberstar and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a fourth Recovery Act oversight hearing on July 31. The hearing focused on non-transportation projects.
- Committee leaders pressed for faster delivery of projects to produce jobs.
- The Committee has requested a sixth status report in August.
- The Government Accountability Office testified that approximately half of the $16.8 billion Recovery Act highway funds obligated by July 17 are going to pavement improvements, including road reconstruction and rehabilitation.
- 17% was obligated to pavement-widening
- 12% was obligated to bridge projects
- Remaining funds were obligated to road and safety projects
Stimulus project of the week
Stimulating central Washington’s working environment
NW Granite workers for the I-82 dowel-bar retrofit project are the focus of a Yakima Herald Republic newspaper photographer. Crew members were at the job site near Sunnyside.“Jobs” are welcome news to about 24 newly hired employees at Granite NW Inc., the company that was awarded a highway construction contract for work on I-82 in Yakima County.
The I-82 Grandview to Granger westbound concrete rehabilitation project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The $7.2 million dollar project, designed to make the highway smoother, safer, and last longer, supports an estimated 70 jobs, ranging from on-site construction to trucking to related work at equipment and supply companies.
Leo Soria, Granite NW’s night shift foreman, said that it is great to be working on this project after a long lay-off. He said many people in his line of work are still not working after being laid-off eight months ago. Soria, who lives in Yakima, said road construction usually requires a lot of travel to where the work is. "It’s nice to be working in Sunnyside because it’s close enough that I can go home every night," said Soria. He also noted that he is getting married in five weeks and the job is helping to pay for the wedding.
Don Whitehouse, WSDOT Regional Administrator, said that the federal funds made it possible to rehabilitate this pavement at the right time. "The longer we wait for funding, the more the road deteriorates and the more it costs to fix it," said Whitehouse. This project was originally estimated to cost more, but bids across the state are coming in, on average, 17 percent lower than the original engineer's estimates. "The cost savings may make it possible to fund the rehabilitation needed on the eastbound lanes on I-82 in this location," added Whitehouse.
August 10: Next federal project status report due
August 17: Applications for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy loans and grants are due
August 20: Next congressional report is due
August 24: First deadline for High-Speed Passenger Rail grant applications
August 31: Next status report to the Legislature is due
September 15: Deadline for $1.5 billion TIGER discretionary grant applications
September 30: National Fish Passage Program habitat restoration grant applications are due
October 2: Applications for Track 2 FRA High-Speed Passenger Rail grants are due
October 10: WSDOT submits first new federal OMB quarterly performance report
Websites of interest
WSDOT ARRA website: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/funding/stimulus
Washington recovery website: http://www.recovery.wa.gov/
Federal recovery website: http://www.recovery.gov/
FHWA recovery website: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/economicrecovery/index.htm
Federal Transit Administration recovery website: www.fta.dot.gov/recovery
Federal Rail Administration recovery website: www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/2153
Federal Aviation Administration recovery website: http://www.faa.gov/recovery
OMB recovery website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/recovery_default/
Highway projects advertised or planned for advertisement soon