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Federal Spending   10/14/2009
A Snapshot of Shovel-, Wrench- and Pencil-Ready Projects

As the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act reaches the eight-month mark, the construction industry is seeing a decidedly mixed picture. The $787-billion stimulus package’s estimated $130 billion of construction money is flowing out through many federal and nonfederal agency channels, but those agencies are moving their ARRA money out at varying rates on diverse projects across the U.S. See profiles of 24 projects below.

TRANSPORTATION
Osage River Bridge

The new $8.5-million bridge being built over the Osage River near Tuscumbia, Mo., was the country’s first stimulus-financed project to get under way after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Feb. 17. The new bridge will take the place of a rickety steel-truss bridge that has stood since 1933.

Orange County 91 Freeway

If time is money, then Brutoco Engineering & Construction Inc. has saved cash-strapped California officials both. The Fontana, Calif.- based company won an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded contract in September to widen the congested 91 Freeway in Orange County.

Markland Lock Repair

Three contracts funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are helping speed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ rehabilitation of the Markland Lock, near Warsaw, Ky., on the Ohio River. The contracts come after a catastrophic malfunction put the lock’s downstream gates out of commission.

Colorado Highway, Bike Path

In July, the Colorado Dept. of Transportation started one of its largest stimulus-funded transportation projects with the multimodal rehabilitation of nine miles of the C-470 highway between Interstate 25 and Santa Fe Drive, south of Denver, and an adjacent bike path.

New Jersey Causeway Reconstruction

New Jersey Dept. of Transportation recently leveraged $70 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to proceed with the second phase of a major replacement project on the Route 52 causeway near Atlantic City, improving a key link to the southern Jersey shore. Traffic volume tops 40,000 vehicles daily in summer, NJDOT says.

Phoenix Highway

Competition among bidders for stimulus funded projects such as Interstate 10 from Sarival Avenue to Verrado Way means that nearly one third of the $350 million in stimulus funds provided to the Arizona Dept. of Transportation has been reallocated in a second round of projects.

Michigan Runway

“Grateful.” That was the reaction of Lester Robinson, chief executive officer for the Wayne County Airport Authority, upon receiving news this May of $15 million in stimulus funds for a crucial rehabilitation of a crosswinds runway in Detroit.

Northern Virginia Parkway

One of President Obama’s final pitches for passage of the stimulus package was the uncompleted Fairfax County Parkway in northern Virginia. Although the Virginia Dept. of Transportation (VDOT) in 2004 allocated $89 million to complete a 2-mile segment adjacent to Fort Belvoir and Interstate 95, the project stalled due to its route across a portion of the Army’s Engineer Proving Ground (EPG), an 820-acre tract heavily contaminated from years of ordnance testing and training activities.

ENVIRONMENT
San Francisco Brownfield

Though housing development across San Francisco has slowed to a crawl during the recession, a plan to build a 196-unit mixed-use complex on the central waterfront is off the ground because of $1.7 million in federal stimulus funds.

Southern-Border Levee Rehabilitation

An infusion of $220 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding is letting the U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission accelerate work on 170 miles of levees of the Rio Grande flood control system in Texas and New Mexico .

Oak Ridge Nuclear Waste Cleanup

“Exciting and bittersweet” is how Anthony Buhl, CEO of EnergX, a contractor at the U.S. Energy Dept’s Oak Ridge nuclear waste cleanup site near Knoxville, Tenn., describes his portion of the complex’s stimulus infusion gained early this year.

Wolf Creek Dam

In November, installation will begin on the new barrier wall of the Wolf Creek Dam, which the National Dam Safety Program in 2005 gave the highest risk rating for failure.

Live Oak Wastewater

An infusion of $16 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will enable the rural California city of Live Oak’s wastewater treatment plant to avoid tens of thousands of dollars in fines and meet state wastewater quality standards by 2011.

Idaho Cleanup

Remediation work on lead-contaminated properties in Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Basin has increased by nearly 50% this year because of $20 million in stimulus funds awarded to the Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality, says Dan Meyer, IDEQ remediation program manager.

BUILDINGS
Coast Guard Headquarters

Plans to build the $3.4-billion headquarters campus for the Dept. of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., got a jump start thanks to ARRA funding. The U.S. General Services Administration implemented the plan in August when it awarded a $435-million design-build contract to provide a new headquarters building for the U.S. Coast Guard on the site of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital.

New England Bus Garage

Timing is everything, and Advance Transit, a private nonprofit company providing bus and paratransit services across the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire, took advantage of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to speed an upgrade to its bus garage.

Seattle Mixed-Use Housing

TaMarack place, an 83-unit, low-income housing complex with 10,000 sq ft of retail space in Seattle, got an infusion of cash through a $7-million award from the $13.5 million in stimulus funds the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development gave to the Seattle Housing Authority.

Brookhaven National Lab

Before You Can Say, “Let there be light,” you first have to say, “Let there be concrete and steel.” At least that is the way the process works with some of the scientific research at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., where $150 million of stimulus funding is speeding up parts of a big new research laboratory.

Birmingham Federal Building

After lying dormant for five years, a project that will dramatically improve a Birmingham federal building’s energy efficiency was re-energized by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. The Robert Vance Federal Building, built in 1921, will receive new mechanical and electrical systems, as well as other enhancements, when construction is completed in 2012.

Connecticut School’s Solar System

Glenville elementary school in Greenwich, Conn., had been living for almost 30 years with a noisy open-plan design and a lack of natural light and fresh air, problems that put it high on the school board’s list for renovation.

Chicago Low-Income Housing

Tom Commings needed a job. Over the past summer, the 35-year old resident of Dearborn Homes, a wornout, public-housing complex on Chicago’s South Side, was laid off from a factory job.

ENERGY
Michigan Plans Carbon-Capture

Construction will have to wait. For now, a $2.7-million stimulus award to a Michigan power cooperative will stimulate nothing more than the coop’s chance to receive more stimulus money for a possible carbon-capture and -storage project at a coal-fired powerplant not yet built.

Davis-Bacon adds to Kansas Plant Cost

Work is under way at a $15.4-million, stimulus funded Johnson County, Kan., wastewater treatment plant upgrade that is expected to cut greenhouse- gas emissions by 9,700 metric tons annually. Work is under way at a $15.4-million, stimulus funded Johnson County, Kan., wastewater treatment plant upgrade that is expected to cut greenhouse- gas emissions by 9,700 metric tons annually.

Montana-Alberta Intertie Taking advantage of newly granted borrowing authority, the Western Area Power Administration has dusted off plans for a U.S.-Canada intertie and is close to an agreement with a private developer to take a stake in a $213-million project to wheel up to 300 MW between Montana and Alberta.
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