State Economic Stimulus Passed; Projects Already Advertised

The Washington State Legislature has approved transportation funding and supplemental transportation appropriations for the 07-09 transportation budget. The first projects funded by these appropriations have already been advertised.

ESSB 1978 provides authority to the Washington State Department of Transportation to spend up to $341.4 million in federal funding provided through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed on Feb. 17 by President Obama. In all WSDOT will build 34 Washington Jobs Now stimulus projects valued at $341 million supporting an estimated 3300 jobs.

Click here for a list of projects funded by the bill.

Gov. Chris Gregoire along with WSDOT announced this week that Washingtons first state highway construction Washington Jobs Now projects funded by ARRA were advertised to contractors. Click here for details.

The WSDOT advertised three contracts worth nearly $9 million this week that will ensure the continued availability of Interstate 90 as a safe and reliable cross-state corridor and will preserve US 101 and SR 103 in Pacific County. WSDOT is advertising these projects for three weeks instead of its usual month so contractors can begin right away. The three paving projects are west of Ellensburg and east of Keechelus Dam in Kittitas County and on the Long Beach Peninsula in Pacific County.

The Legislatures priorities in allocating the federal funds are to: maintain commitments made with the Nickel and Transportation Partnership Acts fill funding gaps in the states preservation backlog and address the lack of funding for statewide safety improvements.

The DOT is directed to obligate half of the funds within 120 days of when the FHWA apportions the ARRA funding to the states; and must obligate all of the remaining funds within one year of apportionment.

AGC supported the bill which was approved by the House 67-28 on March 4. The Senate approved the bill 45-4 on the same date. The Governor signed the bill into law the next day.

I commend House and Senate leadership on this important step to economic recovery in Washington State Gov. Gregoire said. Working together we will get people back to work and emerge from these tough economic times in a strong competitive position. I am confident that when this national recession ends Washington will be a leader in the 21st century economy.

If the state receives additional federal ARRA funding after the initial funds are apportioned and obligated the DOT must allocate the additional funds to the projects on the list according to the legislative priorities identified in the ESHB 1978. Any additional funds allocated beyond those identified will be included in the 2009-2011 omnibus transportation budget which will be forthcoming later this legislative session.

For additional information contact Rick Slunaker or Duke Schaub.