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Stimulus Newsletter March 3, 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.

March 3, 2010

The stimulus story this week

All states met the March 2, 2010 deadline to obligate 100% of the Recovery Act highway funds, meaning no money will be redistributed between states. WSDOT advertised two more cable median barrier projects receiving stimulus funds on March 1. To date, the agency has advertised 28 rumble strip and 13 cable median barrier projects receiving $12 million in Recovery Act funds. WSDOT and local governments continue to advance more Recovery Act projects for construction. Two more individual highway projects and one ferry terminal project were awarded this week.

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 were 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%)

All projects
are obligated

Project delivery to date

Operationally complete

21 (45%)

70 (44%)

91 (44%)

No new projects reported complete this edition


37 (79%)

148 (93%)

185 (90%)

Includes completed projects


47 (100%)

155 (97%)

202 (98%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisment

0 (100%)

4 (3%)

4 (2%)

These projects
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 obligated all $492 million in Recovery Act highway funds on February 19, before the March 2 deadline to obligate 100% of the stimulus highway funds. An obligation is a commitment – the Federal government’s promise to pay the State for the Federal share of a project’s eligible cost. The 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. Any additional surplus funds generated due to low bids on the remaining state and local stimulus projects can be transferred to other projects by September 30, 2010.

More WSDOT safety projects advertised – WSDOT advertised two more Recovery Act highway projects on March 1, completing advertisements for the state projects receiving Recovery Act funds. The US 101/SR 3 to Perry Creek Bridge and SR 303/Vicinity Ridgetop Blvd cable median barrier installation projects are among 13 cable median barrier projects receiving stimulus funds. In addition, 28 centerline rumble strip projects have been advertised.

WSDOT and local governments awarded four more Recovery Act projects –

Two local Recovery Act projects advertised –

One WSDOT Recovery Act ferry terminal project awarded – WSDOT awarded contracts for a ferry terminal seismic retrofit at Vashon Island Ferry Terminal Slip 1 on March 1.

Key issues: National

All states met deadline to obligate 100% of Recovery Act funds – Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the states met the deadline to obligate all stimulus funds before March 2, 2010. The news means all $26.6 billion in Recovery Act funds for highway projects has been assigned to projects. “The states have done a great job in getting all these projects out the door, but to create more jobs and continue strengthening the economy, we have more work to do,” LaHood said in a news release.

U.S. DOT Inspector General issues two reports on stimulus reporting and accountability – The Recovery Act included $20 million for the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General to review and investigate stimulus spending and procedures. U.S. DOT Inspector General Calvin L. Scovell III released two reports on stimulus activities recently, including a February 23 report on stimulus reporting to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and a February 19 report to Senator Mark Pryor on the office’s ongoing audits and investigations. The letter to Senator Pryor indicated 11 ongoing audits target high-risk areas of Recovery Act spending, including high-speed rail and large projects receiving more than $20 million in stimulus funds. Another 12 Recovery Act audits are planned to begin during the federal fiscal year ending September 30.

WSDOT blog is following congressional deliberations over transportation funding – The WSDOT Federal Transportation Issues blog is providing updates on the federal transportation funding act’s reauthorization in Washington, D.C.

Highlight of the week

Pavement rehabilitation project on US 195 near Spokane starts this month

Contractors for the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin construction on another project in the Eastern Region. The Recovery Act provided the funding for pavement improvements on US 195 in southwest Spokane. The work was made possible through savings on other stimulus construction projects built earlier in 2009.

On March 15, Acme Concrete Paving, Inc. of Spokane will begin work on a five-mile stretch of northbound US 195. This project installs steel "dowel bars" between the existing concrete panels in the northbound lanes. Following that, the concrete surface will be smoothed out with a diamond grinder. In addition, a number of broken concrete panels will be replaced. Acme is the prime contractor on the job with a construction bid of $2,449,266. The work will take about three months to complete.

Northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane in some areas while the work is underway. There may also be short-term restrictions at intersections when crews are working on the adjacent highway pavement. 

Important dates

March 5: Deadline for obligating federal transit funds
March 9: Aberdeen Transit Facility ribbon cutting
March 20: Next performance report due to House T & I Committee 
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