Skip Top Navigation

Stimulus Newsletter February 24, 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.

February 24, 2010

The stimulus story this week

Washington State met the 100% obligation target on February 19. All of the WSDOT and local highway stimulus funds have been obligated to 206 individual projects and two statewide safety programs. Washington and other states that have obligated all highway stimulus funds by March 2, 2010, will become eligible to receive funds from states that do not meet the deadline. WSDOT and local governments continue to advance projects for construction. Five more projects were advertised and four more projects were awarded.

This week by the numbers (project dollars in millions)

Individual highway projects





Total highway funds





Obligated funds

$340 (100%)

$152 (100%)

$492 (100%)

All funds must be obligated by March 2, 2010

Projects certified

47 (100%)

159 (100%)

206 (100%)

All projects
are certified

Projects obligated

47 (100%)

159 (100%)

206 (100%)

FHWA has obligated some or all funds for the projects

Project delivery to date

Operationally complete

21 (45%)

70 (44%)

91 (44%)

No new projects reported complete this edition


35 (74%)

146 (92%)

181 (88%)

Includes completed projects


47 (100%)

153 (96%)

200 (97%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisment

0 (100%)

6 (4%)

6 (3%)

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

35 of 35

19 of 19

20 of 20

55 of 55
FTA counts all rural projects as one project

January employment





Payroll (in millions)



for January

Cumulatively, $57.5 million in payroll to date 
Average wage is $38 per hour




for January

Employees have worked 1,505,257 hours to date




for January

FTE = 173 hours per month




for January

Note: Not a count of unique employees

1 This includes one state project that has stimulus funding authorized for pre-construction and is currently under way.

Key issues: State

Washington met the March 2 obligation target – WSDOT and local governments have obligated all $492 million in Recovery Act highway funds on February 19. Washington and other states that have met the 100% obligation target are eligible to receive funds from states that do not obligate all of the federal stimulus funds by March 2. An obligation is a commitment—the Federal government’s promise to pay the State for the Federal share of a project’s eligible cost. This commitment occurs when the project is approved by the Federal Highway Administration and the accompanying project agreement is executed. Due to favorable bids, stimulus projects are averaging well under their anticipated budgets. Surplus funds originally obligated to projects are being used to deliver additional projects.

  • The FHWA recently published a Q & A on redistribution of funds.

Stimulus project employees earned almost $5.6 million in January – Employees on state and local projects receiving Recovery Act highway funds worked over 142,000 hours and earned payroll totaling almost $5.6 million in January. To date, employees have worked over 1.5 million hours on projects receiving highway stimulus funds and earned almost $57.5 million. It was the seventh straight month workers have put in over 130,000 labor hours and earned over $5 million in payroll on stimulus projects. The full data set is available at WSDOT’s stimulus employment webpage. Labor hours and payroll increased slightly from December, when employees worked over 132,000 hours and earned over $5.2 million. Due to winter weather and project completions this fall, labor hours and payroll for November, December, and January have declined from a high in October, when employees worked 284,000 hours earning $10.9 million.

Final WSDOT Tier 2 and Tier 3 Recovery Act projects advertised – WSDOT advertised four more Recovery Act highway projects on February 22, including the last Tier 2 project and the final three Tier 3 projects. Fifteen projects on the Tier 2 and Tier 3 lists received surplus funds from low bids on earlier stimulus projects, including the original Tier 1 list of 32 individual projects. Two more safety projects for cable median barrier improvements are planned for advertisement on March 1.

WSDOT and local governments awarded four more Recovery Act projects –

One local Recovery Act project advertised –

Key issues: National

FHWA published guidelines to prepare for new jobs bill – As Congress continues to debate a jobs bill, the FHWA provided a Q & A to advise states and metropolitan planning organizations about how to prepare for obligation and award deadlines. 

House T & I Committee held one-year progress report hearing on Recovery Act – On February 23, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing reviewing Recovery Act transportation and infrastructure investments. 

  • The hearing featured testimony and questions about recent news topics, including the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail and TIGER surface transportation grants. Agency administrators delivered progress reports and discussed lessons learned.  

Highlight of the week

WSDOT continues I-5 improvements thanks to Recovery Act funds

KELSO – WSDOT’s contractor, Kerr Contractors, Inc. of Woodburn, Ore. is gearing up to pave and upgrade guardrail on 20 miles of I-5 starting Wednesday, February 24. This $6.1 million contract includes $5.6 million in Recovery Act funds and is part of a continued effort to improve safety and preserve the structural integrity of I-5 between Kelso and Centralia.

Crews will begin safety improvements on northbound I-5 between the Kelso Weigh Station and the SR 504 junction near Castle Rock in Cowlitz County (mile posts 43 to 50). Crews will then head north to install guardrail and signage along 13 miles of I-5 in Lewis County. Installation work will require some lane and shoulder closures on the interstate.

Resurfacing work will begin in April and drivers can expect daytime single lane closures and night time double lane closures on I-5 southbound during paving operations. Construction is expected to wrap up in August.

This is a companion project to a Tier 1 Recovery Act project, I-5, North Kelso to Castle Rock – Concrete Rehabilitation, completed in November of last year. The project repaired and replaced damaged concrete panels on I-5 and repaved the interstate’s northbound lanes on 14 miles of interstate through Cowlitz County. 

Important dates

February 20: Next performance report due to T & I Committee
February 23: House T & I Committee holds next Recovery Act hearing
March 2: Deadline for obligating federal highway funds
March 5: Deadline for obligating federal transit funds
April 10: Third quarterly performance report due to OMB

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:

Last revised on April 11, 2014