Jeff to leave MDOT; Kirk Steudle named director

News AASHTO Journal March 15, 2006
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Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Gloria Jeff recently announced she will leave MDOT, and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced that Chief Deputy MDOT Director Kirk Steudle will assume the top job at the department.

“We are fortunate to have Gloria Jeff’s expertise and talent for as long as we did,” said Granholm. “Michigan’s transportation system has improved under her watch, as have transportation partnerships that help make Michigan such a great place to live and work.”

Steudle, 43, assumed the top job at MDOT on March 4, after having his appointment confirmed by the Michigan Senate. A native of Adrian, Mich., he has been an MDOT engineer for 19 years, and is a graduate of Lawrence Technological University.

“Kirk Steudle is an internationally recognized leader in transportation system management, and he understands that the condition of Michigan’s entire transportation system is critical to economic growth, job creation and quality of life,” said Granholm. “His experience as an MDOT engineer and his commitment to state, local and public/private partnerships will provide steady and innovative leadership.”

Steudle’s duties at MDOT have included service on the Asset Management Council, a state and local partnership that yearly assesses the condition of more than 120,000 miles of Michigan’s roads, including those owned by local governments.

He has also played a strong role in the department’s efforts to work more closely with automakers on such initiatives as Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration, or VII, which aims to equip vehicles to “talk” to roadways and vice-versa, in the interests of safety, better operations and driver convenience.

Steudle said he will continue the Granholm administration’s focus on preserving the state’s transportation system and expanding the state’s economy through strategic transportation investments.

Jeff indicated she was pleased to leave a legacy that included the state’s road-maintenance agreement with the County Road Association of Michigan, a doubling in the level of state investment in local bridge repair and rehabilitation, and development of a strategy aimed at bringing 90% of Michigan roads into good condition by 2007.

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