Friday, March 06, 2009

Pierce County’s Portion of Federal Stimulus Reviewed- Part 1

Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond and Charlie Howard of the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) visited RAMP on Wednesday to present Pierce County’s transportation portion of the Federal Stimulus plan.

Howard passed out a document describing Washington State’s $492 million portion of Federal Highway Administrations (FHWA) funds and the State’s $179 million portion of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds. Of the FHWA funds $77.9 million will be distributed by the PSRC to King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

Pierce County will get $18,653,000 in funding for four projects, the largest being $15,808,000 for the Lincoln Ave. Grade Separation in the Port of Tacoma.

Projects were chosen for funding by the PSRC policy board based on a detailed policy framework.
Ready to go asap
Job creation
Ability to start and complete project within designated timeframe. If this does not occur the PSRC will lose the money and will not be eligible for other potential funds
Federal eligibility
Federal process requirements
Open and transparent selection process by PSRC boards recommending projects
Geographic, mode and project type balance

The State Legislature has chosen 6 projects to fund with their $156.1 million in of federal stimulus funding. The largest project on that list is $70 million for extension of the HOV network from the King County line to Port of Tacoma Road. Funding for this project was excluded from the Governor’s transportation budget. Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and RAMP strongly advocated for restoration of this funding or allocation from the stimulus package.

Part two of this blog detailing Secretary Hammond’s comments at RAMP will be posted on Monday. Check back soon.