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Stimulus Newsletter September 15 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.

September 15, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshot

  • Three chip seal projects completed in North Central Region 
  • Vancouver and Kalama completed local projects 
  • Two more projects certified to receive Recovery Act funds 
  • I-90 Recovery Act project now under way near Snoqualmie Pass 
  • Important stimulus dates 
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

Three more Recovery Act highway projects completed – Contractor crews from Central Washington Asphalt completed work last month on three WSDOT Recovery Act projects, including two projects that provided new chip seal on US 97, and one on SR 26. The projects were combined into one contract for efficiency and received more than $2.6 million in stimulus funds. The projects were among the initial seven Tier 3 projects added in December of 2009 due to low bids on earlier stimulus projects. The completed projects are:

  • US 97/Okanogan to Riverside – Chip Seal
  • US 97/Pateros South – Chip Seal
  • SR 26/Royal City East – Chip Seal

Two more local Recovery Act highway projects completed –

Two more highway projects certified – Governor Gregoire certified two more local government projects to receive Federal Highway Administration stimulus funds on September 13 (pdf 205kb). Following the latest certification, 219 individual projects and two statewide safety programs are certified to receive FHWA Recovery Act funds. The latest certification also amends funding levels for 32 current or completed Recovery Act projects reflecting the latest information. The two new projects are:

  • Ellensburg: Canyon Road Overlay – Berry Road to I-90
  • Spokane – Hatch Road/43rd to Perry

Federal Transportation Blog highlights this week – Check the WSDOT Federal Issues blog for recent items on infrastructure investments, federal funding, and updates on the planned six-year transportation reauthorization bill.

Highlight of the week

I-90 stimulus project puts people to work and fixes deteriorating pavement –
The cracked and deteriorating concrete pavement on I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass creates a rough ride for cars and freight trucks. But, thanks to Recovery Act funds, the right-hand concrete lane and asphalt shoulders of eastbound I-90 between Easton and the Big Creek Bridge are getting a facelift. The project also puts Washington citizens back to work.
Contractor crews will replace the right-hand concrete lane and asphalt shoulders of eastbound I-90 through the Easton to Big Creek Bridge project.
WSDOT awarded ICON Materials of Auburn the I-90 Lake Easton to Big Creek Bridge Eastbound Concrete Replacement project for their low bid of $14.8 million. This project supports close to 125 jobs. Bruce Harjehausen, Construction Manager at ICON Materials, said ICON was elated to hear they were awarded the project because the last year and half was difficult. The 2011 construction season wasn’t looking promising for ICON either.

“This project puts people to work and is a good morale booster for everyone - from our flaggers to the people at the asphalt plant,” said Harjehausen. “It also means that construction workers will maintain their good standing with the union and keep their insurance benefits.”

ICON crews and their subcontractors will begin preliminary construction work mid-September. Crews will construct temporary cross-over detours to help keep traffic moving. Crews will then begin the major construction work to remove and replace 10 miles of the right-hand concrete lane and asphalt shoulders. When the project is complete, motorists will experience a smoother ride on eastbound I-90.

The project complements the I-90 Lake Easton to Bullfrog concrete replacement project between Easton (milepost 70) and Nelson Siding Road (milepost 74), completed last spring. The $18.8 million ARRA-funded project rehabilitated approximately eight miles of deteriorated right-hand lane concrete and asphalt highway shoulders. It also supported more than 130 jobs at Gary Merlino Construction Co. of Seattle and several other jobs for eight sub-contractors from across the Pacific Northwest.

Important dates

September 20: Next accountability report to the T & I Committee
September 20: Tentative advertisement date for US 395/Lee Road to I-90 - Paving
September 30: Deadline for obligating Recovery Act highway funds
Fall: Next high-speed rail grant announcements expected
Fall: TIGER II award announcements expected
October 14: Next quarterly accountability report due

Websites of interest

WSDOT ARRA website:
WSDOT Federal Transportation Issues blog:
Washington recovery website:
Federal recovery website:
FHWA recovery website:
Federal Transit Administration recovery website:
Federal Railroad Administration recovery website:
Federal Aviation Administration recovery website:
OMB recovery website:

This week by the numbers (project dollars in millions)

Individual highway projects





Operationally complete

32 (65%)

109 (64%)

141 (64%)

Five additional projects completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

47 (96%)

161 (95%)

208 (95%)

Includes completed projects


48 (98%)

162 (95%)

210 (96%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisement

1 (2%)

8 (5%)

9 (4%)

These projects are planned for upcoming advertisement

Total highway funds





Obligated funds2

$340 (100%)

$152 (100%)

$492 (100%)

All funds were obligated by
March 2, 2010

Projects certified

49 (100%)

170 (100%)

219 (100%)

Two additional projects certified 
in September

Projects obligated2

49 (100%)

168 (99%)

217 (99%)

FHWA has approved funds for the projects

Safety funding buckets ($12 stimulus)














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

July employment





Payroll (in millions)



$6.9 for July

Cumulatively, $113.9 million to date 
- Average wage is $38 per hour




for July

Employees have worked 2,948,436 hours to date




for July

FTE = 173 hours per month




3,998 for July

Note: Not a count of unique employees

This includes one state project that has stimulus funding authorized for pre-construction and is currently under way. 
2 All funds were obligated by the March 2, 2010 deadline as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As projects develop, obligation totals will fluctuate as funds are deobligated due to low bids or savings are realized on project closeouts. Unobligated ARRA balances available to the Highway Construction Program will be used to fund Tier 3 projects. Local ARRA balances will be made available to three additional local projects which were certified on March 8. After September 30, 2010, ARRA funds may not be re-obligated and any balances will be turned over to FHWA for distribution back to the states for project cost increases.  
* TIGER projects are not included in this table.

Last revised on April 11, 2014