Wyoming First To Spend Transportation Stimulus
WYODOT is the first state D-O-T in the nation to use up all of its stimulus funds.
All $157.6 million received by Wyoming through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now in the hands of the contractors. The money covered 69 projects around the state.
Wyoming Department of Transportation Director, John Cox, says the state had a backlog of need so little time was wasted.
“It was real timely for us because, if you recall, the state budget had to be cut back considerably. So we lost a large amount of state funding pretty quick just before ARRA came out. And so, in a sense, ARRA really kind of filled a gap for us.”
He says bids came in lower than expected allowing the the department to fund additional projects.
Cox says, the federal dollars meant between 450 to 500 jobs either created or maintained.
As welcome as the stimulus money was, Cox says, WYDOT needs to be able to count on stable, consistent federal investment in transportation. The last transportation funding bill expired about three years ago.
Cox says, like a lot of federal spending, the question is where does the money come from.
Reinvestment projects in Natrona County include repairs to Casper Mountain Road, renovations at the Waltman rest area, creation of a pedestrian underpass at Beverly Street and the rehabilitation of 1st Street in downtown Casper.