A news release out of Governor Gregoire’s office says that low construction bids are resulting in more construction projects in Washington.

On Friday, Gregoire and Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond announced the state will deliver more highway projects with stimulus funds than first envisioned. That’s due to the recent trend toward lower construction bids.

As of June 1, WSDOT has awarded 15 state stimulus contracts worth $64 million- averaging 21% below estimates. Between July 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009, WSDOT awarded 115 construction contracts, 100 of which came in an average of 29.5 percent below cost estimates.

To date, 63% of the local recovery funding has been obligated, with 15 projects awarded and 43 projects now being advertised for bids.

The transportation department will begin applying federal stimulus funds to a secondary list of more than $80 million in projects identified by Gregoire and the Legislature as projects that WSDOT could advance if stimulus funding became available.

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