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Stimulus Newsletter November 18, 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.

November 18, 2010

This week's stimulus update

New HOV lanes open in Pierce County – In November, WSDOT and its contractor completed a new two-mile-long carpool lane on southbound I-5 from the King County line to 54th Avenue East in Fife. This Recovery Act-funded project had earlier opened the northbound lanes, which extend the high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes into Pierce County.
New HOV lanes opened on I-5 in Pierce County. This photograph showed the project under construction earlier this year.
Along with better throughput efficiency, WSDOT credits HOV lanes with improved public transit reliability by allowing buses to maintain their schedules. Also, people who use carpool lanes find that HOV traffic generally moves faster, sharing the ride improves their commute and they save money on fuel and vehicle maintenance.

“Expanding our I-5 HOV system into Pierce County is a major step toward improving mobility through south Puget Sound and giving people transportation choices,” Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said. “If you choose to take public transportation or share a ride, you will have two more miles of southbound carpool lane from King County. These new lanes will help give you a more reliable commute.”

Highway stimulus delivery (dollars in millions)

Individual highway projects




Project Delivery

Operationally complete

37 (75%)

134 (79%)

171 (78%)

Awarded/under way

49 (100%)

163 (95%)

211 (96%)


49 (100%)

167 (98%)

216 (98%)





Spending Update

Funding allocated




Amount expended

$246.1 (72%)

126.7 (83%)

372.8 (76%)

* Stimulus Newsletter changing to focus on Recovery Act completion – The newsletter is changing the publication schedule to once every two weeks and will focus more on program stewardship statewide. Future editions will include summaries of the statewide cable median barrier and rumble strip program, as well as the preservation and mobility projects funded by the Recovery Act.

Recovery Act project announcements and updates:

New ferry terminal building completed – On November 1, Skagit County completed its Recovery Act-funded project building a new ferry terminal building in Anacortes serving the Guemes Island ferry. The Skagit County – Guemes Ferry Terminal project won a $750,000 federal grant in July 2009 to build the terminal as part of $60 million in stimulus funds set aside for ferry projects nationwide. The ferry, which averages 400,000 riders a year, provides the only public access to Guemes Island.

Recently Completed Projects:
Spokane – 5 mile to Lincoln – July 9, 2010
Benton County – Webber Canyon Road – October 20, 2010
Spokane – Wellesley Avenue – October 29, 2010
Lummi Nation – Haxton Way – November 8, 2010
Ellensburg – Canyon Road Overlay – November 5, 2010
WSDOT Cable Barrier: US 101/SR 3 to Perry Creek Bridge – November 10, 2010
WSDOT Cable Barrier: SR 303/Vicinity Ridgetop Boulevard – November 10, 2010

Open house held for Point Defiance Bypass project – WSDOT hosted a public open house earlier this week for the Point Defiance Bypass project, drawing a crowd of more than 60 people. Residents and community members learned more about plans to reroute passenger trains from the Point Defiance coastline to an existing rail line in south Tacoma, Lakewood and DuPont. The majority of concerns and comments from the meeting participants were about potential safety, noise, vibration, and traffic impacts. The information collected from these meetings will be analyzed and incorporated into an Environmental Assessment process currently underway. The Environmental Assessment is expected to be complete in mid 2013.

Recovery Act-related news release:

WSDOT opens new I-82 interchange ramps and Valley Mall Boulevard roundabouts

Recovery Act employment update: 






Payroll (in millions)



$7.3 million

$131.6 million to date

Labor hours




$3.4 million to date

Monthly FTEs (173 hours per monthly FTE)




1636 yearly FTEs to date (2080 hours per FTE





Note: Not a count of unique employees

Note: Includes all labor on projects receiving Recovery Act Federal Highway Administration funds.

Last revised on April 11, 2014