Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Harold E. Linnenkohl was unanimously named the 96th President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at its 2005 Annual Meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel Resort and Convention Center on Monday, September 19. North Dakota Department of Transportation Director David Sprynczynatyk was named AASHTO Vice President by the board.
Linnenkohl becomes the fifth AASHTO president from Georgia in the group's 91-year history and takes over the position from Jack Lettiere, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
The AASHTO Board of Directors also unanimously endorsed Linnenkohl's three-point Presidential Emphasis Areas under the theme of Safety, Service and Quality - Our Focus for the Future.
Under that theme, Linnenkohl's plan aims to:
1. Lead a results-oriented National Highway Safety Effort;
2. Promote the service and value of our transportation network; and
3. Ensure quality in all we do.
Linnenkohl plans to work with local, state and federal agencies to share best practices; use the 50th Anniversary of the Interstate Highway System to focus attention on the nation's highway, transit and overall transportation infrastructure; and promote AASHTO as the voice of transportation. Attention will also focus on improving operations and maintenance so that the nation's transportation systems are efficient and sustainable as possible through the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems, encouraging innovative financing approaches and accelerating project delivery while maintaining stewardship of environmental and historic resources.
U.S. DOT Secretary Mineta Addresses AASHTO
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta spoke to AASHTO Annual Meeting delegates at the September 18 plenary session, where he was presented with the association's Transportation Leadership Award. In his remarks, Mineta said the U.S. DOT responded quickly to provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and in his first four years as secretary, the U.S. DOT has achieved its lowest vehicle fatality rate ever recorded; the highest safety belt usage rate ever recorded and the lowest rail fatality level in its history.