More than a year after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed, significant amounts of work are still hitting the street in the Mid-Atlantic region. All states met the federally-imposed March 2, 2010 deadline to obligate all ARRA highway funds, however some states have been faster to award contracts. Pennsylvania was one of the first in the nation to obligate its funds and the vast majority of projects are underway. Meanwhile, Virginia was the last state to begin awarding projects and now has a significant number of projects to award. As of the Feb. 17 anniversary of the signing of ARRA by President Obama, roughly half of Virginia’s projects had yet to be awarded.
Still other transportation funds continue to make their way to the region. In early March, Maryland received $26.3 million in stimulus grants from the U.S. Dept of Transportation for mass transit projects, including $17.1 million for upgrades to the Mondawmin Transit Center in Baltimore.
On Feb. 17, USDOT also announced several local projects that were awarded funds under its $1.5-billion TIGER Grants program through ARRA. The $842-million National Gateway Freight Rail Corridor was awarded $98 million for double-stack clearance projects along CSX rail lines. Pennsylvania received $35 million for its CSX projects while West Virginia received $33 million. Plans for Metro bus-only lanes around the greater Washington, D.C., will be built thanks to $58 million in grants that will be split between Maryland, Virginia and D.C.
In the public buildings sector, many of the largest projects under ARRA have yet to be obligated. As of the one-year anniversary, the General Services Administration had yet to obligate half of its $5.6 billion in stimulus funds. A $500-million data center for the Social Security Administration near Baltimore, Md., is scheduled to be awarded in September.