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Stimulus Newsletter November 22, 2011

Stimulus News You Can Use is one way WSDOT is working to keep transportation stakeholders updated on the fast-moving effort to put people to work and improve the state’s infrastructure. Each edition will have information on project delivery and highlights. Sign up to receive stimulus news e-mail updates . Visit the Newsletter Archive for earlier editions.

November 22, 2011

This week's stimulus update 

WSDOT seeks federal TIGER III grants for three transportation improvement projects
M/V Hyak
Washington State stands to reap long-term benefits from improved commuter and freight mobility, cleaner air, and more transportation choices if its projects are selected to receive a portion of the $527 million in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER III) grant funds.

In October, the Washington State Department of Transportation submitted applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for projects in Pierce and King Counties and an improvement to a Washington State Ferries vessel serving San Juan County.

These projects add capacity and real-time motorist information along a bottleneck on Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord; improve connectivity and accessibility to future light rail, transit and bicycle and pedestrian pathways near the State Route 520 corridor; and replaces the propulsion system in the state ferry Hyak with a modern, hybrid propulsion system that will increase fuel efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The full news release has more information on the applications.

TIGER and TIGER II Project Updates:

WSDOT – North Spokane Corridor, $35 million TIGER grant – The Francis to Farwell Southbound lanes project is under construction and expected to be complete in spring 2012. The Parksmith Interchange project is also now under construction and expected to be complete in October 2012.

Seattle – Mercer Corridor Improvements, $30 million TIGER grant – Construction is under way and planned for completion in fall 2013.

King County – South Park Bridge Reconstruction, $34 million TIGER II grant – Construction is underway and planned for completion in winter 2013.

Port of Vancouver – West Vancouver Freight Access, $10 million TIGER II grant – The grade separation project was advertised in September and the extended rail siding project will be advertised in early 2012.

Franklin County – East Foster Wells Road Extension, $1.01 million TIGER II grant – Construction is underway and planned for completion this winter.

High Speed Rail Updates

Federal rail funding advances King Street Station restoration – Rail travelers using Seattle’s historic King Street Station, grand and ornate when it opened in 1906, will be transported back to that era when seismic and utility upgrades and historic restoration work are complete in two years.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration signed agreements November 21, securing $16.7 million in federal high-speed-rail funds to support the next phase of the King Street Station restoration project. The station is the busiest in the Pacific Northwest, serving nearly half a million Amtrak Cascades passengers in 2010. The November 21 news release has more information.

November 3: Federal Railroad Administration announces $7.9 million award to construct a new station in Tukwila for both Amtrak Cascades and Sound Transit Sounder service.

September 21: U.S. Department of Transportation announces $31 million to improve rail service in Washington State

Project Spotlight: Recovery Act project completed on I-82 in Yakima County

Completion of new ramps and the third and final roundabout at the Valley Mall Boulevard/Interstate 82 interchange marks the end of construction on a project that already has improved traffic flow and reduced accidents.

On October 31, local, state and federal officials joined the Washington State Department of Transportation in celebrating the interchange improvements with a ribbon-cutting ceremonI-82 Valley Mall Boulevard/Interstate 82 interchangey.

The $34 million, 18-month reconstruction project included installation of three large roundabouts, two new interstate bridges built higher for better clearance and wider for future expansion, and new on-ramps and off-ramps that allow traffic to access the interstate without waiting at stop signs or traffic signals.

Since the first two new roundabouts opened in November of last year, traffic flow has improved and traffic data shows that collisions in the area have been cut in half. Some 22,000 vehicles use the Valley Mall Boulevard interchange each day and, prior to the reconstruction, occasionally backed up onto I-82. The full news release has more about the project.

Other Recent Recovery Act news releases and updates

October 28:
Lewis and Clark Bridge painting work shuts down for the winter on October 31, 2011

Project webpage updated: New ramps opened at I-405 – NE 8th St to SR 520 Braided Ramps – Interchange improvements

Three more state Recovery Act projects completed
SR 26/Grant County Line to SR 17 – Paving – August 19
SR 14/I-5 to SE 164th Ave. Interchange – Paving – September 2
I-82/Valley Mall Blvd - Rebuild Interchange – October 31

Highway stimulus delivery (dollars in millions) as of September 30, 2011

Highway projects




Operationally complete

46 (90%)

166 (99%)

212 (97%)

Total Projects




Funding allocated




Amount expended

$326.8 (96%)

$148 (99%)

$474.8 (97%)

 Two completed safety programs are now counted as projects. All projects are now certified, advertised, and either under way or complete.
The Recovery Act highway project list has updated project status. Note: The state project completed in October 2011 is not included.

September 2011 Recovery Act employment update: 

More information on Recovery Act employment, which may be more up to date, is available at the employment data website.

September Data



September Total


Payroll (in millions)



$3.8 million

$189.4 million to date

Labor hours




4.8 million to date

Monthly FTEs
(173 hours per monthly FTE)




2,294 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 March 31, 2014