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ProPublica offers stimulus contract database

October 23, 2009

ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom concentrating on investigative journalism, has done a good job tracking stimulus spending, and offers easy access to new data about where those stimulus dollars are flowing.

Traffic along the U.S. 60 bypass around Owensboro (Messenger-Inquirer photo)

Traffic along the U.S. 60 bypass around Owensboro (Messenger-Inquirer photo)

ProPublica’s latest offering is a tool that allows you to find companies in your area that have received contracts for stimulus-funded transportation projects, and breaks down spending so far to the county level.

The database includes more than 2,000 contracts already awarded, and ProPublica gives you the ability to search them.

From ProPublica’s article accompanying the new database –

We wanted to see who the big winners were so far, so we obtained two databases from the U.S. Department of Transportation. First, we received an updated copy of the national database of stimulus road and bridge projects. We also obtained data that states filed as part of the Recovery Act reporting requirements that show which contractors have been awarded particular projects.

The priciest project so far, according to the DOT data, is the expansion of State Highways 114 and 121 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The contractor for the $250 million project is NorthGate Constructors, a joint venture of Fort Worth-based Kiewit Texas Construction and San Antonio-based Zachry Construction Corporation.

In California, Kiewit Pacific won the $190 million contract to expand I-405 for a commuter lane in Los Angeles County. Kiewit Pacific and Kiewit Texas Construction are both subsidiaries of Kiewit.

The database offers a quick look at spending, but doesn’t have all the details or the most up-to-date info.

For instance, it lists the $27.2 million in stimulus funding for the U.S. 60 bypass extension in Daviess County, but lists the project as “pavement improvement.”

The database also lists that no contractor has been awarded the contract, even though Yager Materials of Owensboro was awarded the contract and has already started on the project.

It is interesting to see how stimulus money has been spread around the commonwealth. According to the data, a project to reconstruct US 150 from Crab Orchard to Brodhead for $32.2 million is the most expensive stimulus-funded highway project right now. That contract was awarded to Allen Company Inc.

Among the counties with the biggest hauls so far are Jefferson, Trigg, Daviess, Barren, Breathitt and Campbell.

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