The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Board of Directors voted at its annual meeting in Detroit Monday to elect Michigan Transportation Director Kirk Steudle as the association’s president for the next year. Rhode Island Transportation Director Michael Lewis was elected AASHTO vice president.
As president, Kirk Steudle will emphasize the implementation of new transportation technologies to reduce costs and improve the
transportation system. He also will push for a multiyear, well-funded surface transportation reauthorization bill in Congress and advocate for expanded use of performance measures for infrastructure investments.
“We as an industry are challenged with doing more with less,” Steudle said. “New technologies and innovative thinking – along with good stewardship of our existing resources — are part of how we are going to operate and maintain a world-class transportation system well into the future. We need to recognize and support the amazing research, but then find ways of moving that research into practice when and where it makes sense.”
Steudle began his career with the Michigan Department of Transportation in 1987 and has led the agency since 2006. He was reappointed director by Gov. Rick Snyder in January. As MDOT director, Steudle administers the department’s multimodal transportation programs, including nearly 10,000 miles of state trunkline highways and 4,400 state-owned bridges. He manages MDOT’s workforce of 2,500 employees.
Steudle earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. He served on the Essexville City Council from 1995 to 1999. Steudle formerly chaired AASHTO’s Standing Committee on Performance Management and the association’s Subcommittee on Asset Management. He is a member of the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee.
Michael Lewis has led the Rhode Island Department of Transportation since March 2008. He has overseen the successful completion and operation of major elements of the $610 million Iway project and the ongoing replacement work at the Sakonnet and Pawtucket River bridges.
Lewis is also overseeing the expansion of South County Commuter Rail using Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority service. Trains from Providence now travel south to Warwick’s TF Green Airport. In spring 2012, trains will go on to Wickford Junction in North Kingstown, giving Rhode Island and the region even greater mobility options. Lewis previously worked on the Central Artery/Tunnel project as an engineer with the Massachusetts Highway Department.
Lewis chairs the Construction Subcommittee of AASHTO’s Standing Committee on Highways. He also is chairman of the Rhode Island Public Railroad Corp., the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.
Both Steudle and Lewis serve as board members of the Transportation Research Board’s Strategic Highway Research Program II Oversight Committee.