Nearly 102,000 prime recipients of Recovery contract, grant, and loan awards have filed reports on their awards since February 2009, when the Recovery Act was signed into law. Awards in some cases were for more than $1 billion, but more than 98,000 prime recipient awards were for under $10 million. Here are four projects funded by less than $10 million.
Workers improving 15.4 miles of levee along the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas
The State Department awarded an $8.3 million contract to Ultimate Concrete, a small business located in El Paso, Texas, to improve 15.4 miles of levees along the Rio Grande in El Paso. The work involves structural improvements to 6.9 miles of river levee in the Fabens-Tornillo area and 8.5 miles at Fort Hancock between the Alamo and Diablo Arroyos, including a gated floodwall at the Fort Hancock-Porvenir International Bridge.
The goal is to bring the levees into compliance with standards established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide increased protection against flooding. Construction began in August 2010 and, as of the April 2011 recipient reporting cycle, the project is more than 50 percent complete.
Passenger terminal at Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina.
A $7.8 million Recovery grant from the Department of Transportation (DOT) covered costs to improve the passenger terminal at Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina. Improvements included replacing aging passenger-boarding bridges at departure gates. All work was completed in March 2011.
The DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration made upgrading airport infrastructure and air traffic control facilities and systems top priorities in its Recovery plans. The Recovery Act made more than $1.3 billion available for both. Originally, only major metropolitan airports were designated for the improvements, but when construction bids came in lower than expected, funds were extended to other airports.
New Commercial Oven
New energy-efficient oven increases production capacity by 20 percent.
New Horizons Baking Company in Norwalk, Ohio received a $1 million Recovery Act grant from the Department of Energy to help pay for a new oven that will increase energy efficiency by 25 percent and production by 20 percent, according to the company’s chief executive officer.
The new BakeTech oven produces 5,000 buns per hour, compared to the old oven’s 4,000. Also, since excess heat from the new oven is captured to power both the baking-tray washers and the proofer—the machine providing heat and humidity for the dough to rise — the bakery was able to eliminate a boiler. That alone is expected to save 2.4 billion BTUs per year, DOE says.
The Recovery grant constitutes almost a third of the $3.4 million project, which required adding 10,000 square feet of floor space to the existing 64,000-square-foot facility to accommodate the new oven.
Energy Efficient Street Lighting and Buildings
LED lights installed into about 2,000 traffic lights and streetlamps in Arlington, VA
Virginia’s Arlington County is using a $2.1 million Recovery grant from the Department of Energy to install LED lights into approximately 2,000 traffic lights and streetlamps and also to add solar energy equipment to various county buildings, such as the Arlington Central Library.
County officials estimate the LED changeover alone will reduce electric costs by $1 million per year as well as reduce the street/traffic lighting system’s power consumption by almost 60 percent. Officials also hope this will be the initial phase of a larger project to replace the high-pressure sodium elements in all 16,000 of the county’s existing street/traffic lighting fixtures with LEDs over the next six years. The money for any subsequent phases would come from county, state, or other federal funding.
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