Four more state highway projects are now substantially complete as contractor crews continue to complete American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funded construction projects. Washington is preparing for the intense national competition for $8 billion in high speed passenger rail grants with 21 project applications under way to meet the August 24 deadline. WSDOT’s stimulus web page has received national attention for its content and has attracted more than 58,000 visitors since its launch in February.
This week by the numbers - as of August 11
Status of 36 state and 149 local ARRA highway projects
- 8 projects are substantially complete (6 state, 2 local)
- 130 projects have been awarded to contractors or are under construction (26 state, 104 local)
- 161 projects have been advertised to date (29 state, 132 local)
- 24 projects are certified, but not yet advertised
- 185 individual projects (36 state, 149 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 83.4% of local funds, $126.8 million of $152.1 million, and have until March 1, 2010 to obligate the rest. Funds are now obligated for 133 of 149 local projects. Five projects are no longer receiving Recovery Act funds due to project cancellations caused by good bids and one county withdrawing a project.
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
Four more state highway projects completed in August –
- Crews from Columbia Asphalt restored pavement on four miles of I-90 in the eastbound to provide a smoother, safer driving surface and strengthen and preserve the roadway in Kittitas County between Slide Curve and Cabin Creek.
- Central Washington Asphalt crews completed three paving projects totaling 68 miles of pavement in Grant and Okanogan Counties. Read more about these projects in the “stimulus project of the week” highlight below.
- Crews completed the first WSDOT stimulus highway project on I-90 near Ellensburg in July.
WSDOT prepares applications for high speed passenger rail funds – Washington is planning to submit applications on August 24 for a portion of the $8 billion in Recovery Act funds available for high speed passenger rail projects nationwide.
- WSDOT’s total project list is valued at over $1 billion.
- WSDOT proposed projects that will improve Washington’s passenger rail system and prepare for high-speed service from Portland to Vancouver, British Columbia, for the Amtrak Cascades service on the Pacific Northwest High Speed Rail Corridor. The proposed projects stretch from Blaine to Vancouver, Washington.
- Forty-four states and the District of Columbia are submitted preapplications for the funds.
- The first grant applications due on August 24 are for ready to go projects referred to as Track 1. The second applications, for longer term service development programs referred to as Track 2 applications, are due in October.
- WSDOT has 11 Track 1a projects for final design and construction.
- WSDOT has 10 Track 1b projects for provisional engineering and NEPA (environmental assessment) work.
- WSDOT is preparing 17 additional projects for Track 2 applications.
Ninth Recovery Act project certification filed with FHWA – Governor Gregoire submitted an update to Washington’s Recovery Act projects on August 6 as more projects come on line and other project allocations are adjusted. The latest FHWA 1511 report includes $8.6 million for three additional local highway projects.
- Grandview – “Alive” Downtown Improvements – Phase 1
- Monroe – US 2/Chain Lake Road/N. Lewis Street Intersection Improvements
- Lake Stevens – Lundeen Park Way Roundabout
WSDOT Recovery Act site approaches nearly 60,000 hits – The WSDOT stimulus web page has been viewed more than 58,400 times since its launch in February. The web page features information on each Recovery Act project and the latest information on project delivery and performance.
- The weekly online WSDOT stimulus newsletter now has over 550 subscribers.
- WSDOT received kudos from FHWA for its July 28 job reporting press release.
Eight more highway projects awarded
- I-90/Snoqualmie Pass Vicinity - Camera Replacement
- Ferndale – 2nd Avenue
- Kalama – First Street Phase 2
- Dayton – Dayton Avenue Overlay
- Dayton – West Dayton Street Beautification
- Ferry County – Bridge Creek Top East
- Thurston County – Prairie Creek Bridge/Turn Lane
- Thurston County – Old Highway 99 Turn Lane
Key issues: National
Recovery Act highway projects under construction nationwide – 2,971 stimulus projects costing $8.3 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 $17.4 billion of $26.8 billion (65%) to 6,433 projects.
Stimulus project of the week
Three stimulus projects completed in north central Washington
Crews working on the SR 262 resurfacing project in Grant County stayed on the payroll three extra weeks, thanks to stimulus funding. Three more projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) were substantially completed, on time and on budget. Under a $2.98 million contract, Central Washington Asphalt crews resurfaced a total of 68 miles of three state highways in Central Washington - 16 miles of SR 155 east of Omak, all 28 miles of SR 243 from Vantage to Vernita, and all 24 miles of SR 262 past Potholes State Park. Work began May 26 and was complete August 3.
“I’ve got 350 to 400 employees and none of us make any money if we’re not working,” said Pamp Maiers, President of Central Washington Asphalt of Moses Lake. Maiers said work for his crew created by the three additional chip seal projects, “was the difference between working an extra three weeks instead of being laid off.” At the same time, he says, “These were good projects that turned out well," and added that the projects "preserve and improved three highways in Grant and Okanogan Counties that sorely needed it.”
“Financially, it worked out well for both the state and for me," said Maiers. "I had the region’s regular chip seal contract, so I already had my crushing operation, asphalt plant and chip sealing crews. I was able to beat the other bids (9.5 percent under the engineering estimate) by combining the work. For example, the SR 155 ARRA project continued the resurfacing in the region job from Disautel Pass down to Omak, so the crews, equipment and materials were already in place and we treated it like a single project. Most of that highway is on Colville Tribal lands and tribal members made up 70 percent of our crew. The ARRA project kept them working an extra three weeks.”
Maiers is also vice-president of the Washington Asphalt Pavers Association (WAPA) and takes a broader view of the stimulus projects. “Contractors were looking at a grim year,” he said pointing out that residential and commercial business was down by 70 to 90 percent on top of expected reductions in state contracts, “but it [ARRA] made a big difference this summer.”
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