June 2009 – State & Province News
California has committed more than $234 million to Bay Area transportation projects, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The funds, part of the first wave of stimulus monies to impact area infrastructure projects, will go toward a range of local projects that are designed to renovate existing thoroughfares. The vast majority, however, will go toward boring the fourth passageway in the Caldecott Tunnel, which connects Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The funds are part of more than $1 billion in stimulus cash earmarked for 80 transportation infrastructure projects around the state. The state expects to net nearly $2.6 billion to fix highways and streets and another $1 billion for transit projects.
To expedite construction projects in the state’s notoriously short construction season, the Connecticut Department of Transportation announced a three-day evaluation process for the review of approximately 80 local projects funded via federal stimulus dollars. “If this work can be concentrated during this season, then you will see significant job creation,” Donald Shubert, president of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association told The Hartford Courant. “If we’re talking October, November, then you will still see high unemployment.” For each project, local communities must hire inspectors, meet affirmative-action and disadvantaged-business requirements, satisfy state and federal design specifications, solicit public input, and pass an environmental review. The state received $302 million in stimulus money for highway, street, and bridge projects. Approximately $90 million of that is expected to be distributed to the local projects.
Approximately $246 million in state stimulus dollars are budgeted for two dozen highway, airport, and transit projects that are expected to support as many as 3,200 jobs, Pacific Business News reports. “The stimulus money is giving everyone some optimism for more work,” said Bill Wilson, president of Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. “We’re doing okay — we’re fortunate to have a variety of work. But the economy is very challenging for everybody and there’s a great deal of uncertainty. [The stimulus] gives us opportunity.” Construction is the third largest industry in the state.