According to this article P-I, the state is looking at something like $250 to $500 million in stimulus spending for infrastructure. That leads me to believe something like about $50 or $100 billion will be spent on the federal level for transportation. So that’s the good news.

The bad news: I heard Christine Gregoire on NPR say she wants the stimulus money to be given directly to state governments, and have the states spend the money as they see fit. Our state government’s Department of Transportation is basically a highway and ferry organization, so if Gregoire’s state grant concept does happen, I am not hugely optimistic that many of the transit projects mentioned in this post would be funded.

So take a minute and let our congressional delegation know that we want some transit to be funded in the stimulus package.

7 Replies to “Stimulus Update”

  1. In the previous post stated that we should get 6 to 8.3 billion which makes since. How are we only ending up with 250 to 500 million. Did the stimulus package shrink?

  2. The $6~8 billion number is the Seattle-area portion (by population) of a $500-700 billion stimulus package. No one really thought that the entire thing would be spent on transportation, or that the money would be awarded proportionally. A lot of the money is going to go to things like buying mortgages, covering state government deficits, etc. I put the $6-8 billion number to illustrate how big the total stimulus is likely to be.

    The $250~500 million is one person’s, who is in the state transpo department, estimate of what the transportation portion would be for the state. I am surprised how low it is, actually, when a lot of the talk around the stimulus mentions infrastructure projects.

    The actual stimulus bill has not been finalized, so either number could be changed. It’s important to understand the two numbers, but it’s very unlikely that the total spending on transportation in our state will be first number’s range.

  3. Don’t forget that WSDOT also is also the entity responsible for Amtrak Cascades. There are a number of ‘shovel ready’ WSDOT Rail projects that are short of funding.

    Hopefully at least some of these projects will get a boost out of any stimulus package.

    1. I would especially hope that they’d finish the “Point Defiance Bypass”, which is probably the biggest bang for the buck of any project on the list, what with knocking six minutes of the Amtrak schedule *and* substantially improving its reliability, allowing Sounder and Amtrak to get to Lakewood, improving freight reliability on the BNSF mainline, allowing the removal of bus services replaced by Sounder, etc…. and it’s already half-built.

      Most of the other projects seem to be stalled for reasons other than money. That one is stalled because of money.

      1. I think that all of the pure-transit projects on the list are stalled solely for cash flow reasons.

      2. I’ve been hearing buzz that this project will definitely be submitted to the Feds as a possible stimulus beneficiary.

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