Kuney Joins Gregoire, Murray to Announce Stimulus-Funded Project

Max Kuney President of Max J. Kuney Company joined Gov. Chris Gregoire Sen. Patty Murray WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond and other dignitaries to commemorate one of the first stimulus-funded projects to go to bid in the state.

At the Mar. 30 event in Bellevue Gov. Gregoire and Sen. Patty Murray announced that a $277 million construction project to relieve congestion on parts of I-405 in Bellevue is ready to go to bid. The project will be funded in part with $30 million the state received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The project will provide relief for one of the most congested sections of I-405 as new multi-level ramps to separate vehicles entering and exiting northbound I-405 will be constructed.

This transportation project is the latest signal that were delivering quickly on my promise to put thousands of Washingtonians to work Gregoire said. The Washington State Department of Transportation is a proven engine for creating jobs and has a track record for delivering projects on time and within budget. We expect the same performance when it comes to turning Recovery Act funds into jobs now and in the future.

For the construction industry its all about jobs said Kuney. These stimulus projects put people back to work in a down economy.

Kuney has been lead on several WSDOT projects. The ramp project known as the Bellevue Braids is adjacent to the 10th Street bridge project being completed by Kuney who hosted part of the press conference on the bridge so the public officials and media could see where the new project will be built and talk to work crews and other contractors in attendance about the importance of the stimulus plan.

Speaking on behalf of AGC Kuney touted a University of Washington report demonstrating the positive multiplier effect of construction employment: For each $1 invested in new construction the states economy generates an additional $1.97 in economic activity throughout the state. Plus for each $1 million invested in new construction an additional 16 jobs are created across the economy. Kuney also described the loss of construction jobs in the state citing recently reported data by AGC of America Economist Ken Simonson that shows construction employment in Washington State has declined nearly 11 percent in the last year.

Washington has received a total of $492 million for state and local highway construction projects from the federal stimulus package.

Construction is a tried and true way to put people back to work. Thats why I worked to ensure that the economic recovery package made a sizable investment in transportation priorities that will literally pave the way for economic growth Murray said. The federal stimulus money being put into I-405 will help create an estimated 560 jobs. While theres a lot more to be done these transportation projects are as important to getting our economy going as they are to keeping traffic moving.

The federal stimulus package is also providing $40 million to add a new lane on I-405 between 195th and SR 527 near Bothell. That project will help create or support an estimated 440 jobs.

Mobility continues to be one of the greatest constraints of economic potential for the Eastside said Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger. The road to recovery begins today.

The I-405 Bellevue braids project is a key to fixing one of our most troublesome chokepoints in one of our critical economic corridors Hammond said. Thanks to the Recovery Act we were able to leverage $30 million in federal funds to move ahead a $277 million project that delivers congestion relief and jobs.

 

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State Sen. Fred Jerrett Gov. Chris Gregoiore and Max Kuney at press conference celebrating bidding of stimulus projects.
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WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond and Bob Adams Guy F. Atkinson Construction at press conference.
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Kuney Gregoire and Sen. Patty Murray talk to reporters atop Kuneys 10th Street bridge project in Bellevue.

 

Photos courtesy WSDOT.