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Stimulus Newsletter October 6, 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.

October 6, 2010

This week's stimulus snapshot

  • Old SR 501 bridge demolition under way in Clark County
  • New HOV lane opens northbound on I-5 in Pierce County 
  • Two state projects have bid openings in October 
  • The city of Cheney completed its 2010 arterial preservation project 
  • US DOT announces two Recovery Act milestones 
  • Important stimulus dates 
  • Useful Recovery Act web links 
  • Stimulus data table update

SR 501 Bridge Demolition under way on I-5 Recovery Act project – Crews on WSDOT’s I-5/SR 501 Ridgefield Interchange project are demolishing the old bridge over the Interstate as part of the stimulus-funded project. The work is resulting in closures of all lanes one direction at a time on I-5 and nightly closures of SR 501 as crews used an excavator to remove the structure. The last overnight closures are planned for October 7. The project improves safety and mobility on state and local roads by building a wider bridge to take SR 501 over I-5 and improving the I-5 on-ramps. Construction on the $28 million, stimulus-funded project began in August 2009.

Bid openings planned for two remaining state projects -

  • WSDOT – SR 26/Grant County line to Othello – Resurfacing (October 7)
  • WSDOT – US 395/Lee Road to Junction I-90 – Paving (October 21)

One more local Recovery Act highway project completed

FHWA, FTA met Recovery Act deadlines to obligate stimulus funds – US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced last week that both the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration met September 30, 2010 deadlines to approve funding for stimulus projects nationwide. The Recovery Act provided $27.5 billion for highway and bridge projects and $8.78 billion for transit projects nationwide.

Federal Transportation Blog highlights this week – Check the WSDOT Federal Issues blog for recent items for recent items on infrastructure investments, emissions standards, transit grants, and the planned transportation reauthorization bill.

Highlight of the week

First Pierce County I-5 carpool lane open for business –
Commuters in Pierce County got their first taste of an improved highway system on Monday traveling in three new miles of carpool lane on I-5.
In August, WSDOT started paving new carpool lanes on I-5. The new northbound HOV lane opened on October 2.
This high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane extends from just north of Port of Tacoma Road at Wapato Creek to the Pierce County line and joins the existing WSDOT HOV system. WSDOT and crews from Tri-State Construction, Inc., opened the new lane Saturday evening after finishing sign installation and striping.

Work continues in the opposite direction while crews work day and night to complete the carpool lane on southbound I-5. That lane, weather permitting, is expected to open by the end of October.

This project began in August 2009 and received $35.3 million in stimulus funding to help ease congestion for 200,000 motorists per day who travel this section of I-5 in Fife.

“This is great news for drivers. From the beginning this project has been providing benefits to the citizens of Washington,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT Region Administrator. “When we received the stimulus funding it put about 130 men and women to work during these tough economic times.”

Drivers can use carpool lanes whenever there are two or more people (including the driver) in the vehicle. The definition of “people” is not limited by age or whether other occupants are licensed drivers. Buses, emergency vehicles, and motorcycles can use freeway HOV lanes regardless of how many people on board. Hybrid or other “green” vehicles must abide by the more than two occupants rule.

This work is part of the Port of Tacoma to King County Line HOV project, which is part of WSDOT’s larger Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program. The Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program is building carpool lanes and making other improvements to I-5 and SR 16 in Pierce County. For more information about this project and the Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program, visit

Important dates

October 10: Next quarterly accountability report due
October 20: Next accountability report to the T & I Committee
October 30: Federal accountability reports published at
Fall: Next high-speed rail grant announcements expected
Fall: TIGER II award announcements expected

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

34 (69%)

113 (67%)

147 (67%)

One additional project completed this edition 

Awarded/under way1

47 (96%)

162 (95%)

209 (95%)

Includes completed projects


49 (100%)

164 (96%)

213 (97%)

Includes completed and awarded projects

Certified, awaiting advertisement

0 (0%)

6 (4%)

6 (3%)

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%)

170 (100%)

219 (100%)

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

August employment





Payroll (in millions)



$4.9 for August

Cumulatively, $120.7 million to date - Average wage is $38 per hour




for August

Employees have worked 3,128,721 hours to date




for August

FTE = 173 hours per month




3,998 for August

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 September 30, 2010 deadline as required by the Recovery Act.  
* TIGER projects are not included in this table.

Last revised on April 14, 2014