Dan Flowers, director of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), has been named the recipient of the 2008 George S. Bartlett Award by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
The George S. Bartlett Award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to highway progress. The recipient is selected by a three-member Board of Award made up of the presidents of AASHTO, the American Road and Transportation Builders’ Association and the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council.
The award was presented to Flowers for his achievements as a transportation planner and administrator, and for his efforts in promoting highway innovation in Arkansas and at the national level throughout his career. Flowers received the award Oct. 19 at the AASHTO Annual Meeting held in Hartford, Conn.
Flowers’ transportation career has spanned over 40 years and goes back to his days attending college. He worked as a summer employee for the AHTD for four years in the department’s Resident Engineer Office at Batesville. Following graduation from the University of Arkansas in 1969 with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering, he was assigned as a planning engineer in the Planning & Research Division. He worked in a total of eight other engineering and management positions within the department during his career prior to becoming director.
He became director of the agency in 1994. At age 47, Flowers was the youngest person to serve as director since the implementation of the Mack-Blackwell Amendment in 1953.
During Flowers’ service as director, many milestones have been reached by the department.
He has seen the designation of two new interstate routes, interstates 530 and 540. In 2000, the AHTD began a five-year interstate rehabilitation program that, upon completion, successfully reconstructed nearly 60 percent of Arkansas’ interstate highways. The program received national attention for its innovative construction techniques.
In addition, a program is currently under way that is reconstructing many of the state’s Arkansas Welcome Centers.
Beyond the borders of Arkansas, Flowers brought together transportation officials from the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan to collaborate on the planning of the future Interstate 69 Corridor. When completed, this 2,680-mi. (4,300 km) international and interstate trade corridor will extend from Mexico to Canada.
Flowers is a registered professional engineer, a member of the University of Arkansas Academy of Civil Engineering and serves on the Mack-Blackwell Transportation Center’s Professional Advisory Board at the University of Arkansas.
He served a four-year term on the Arkansas Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors and is a past president of the board.
He is active in transportation on the regional and national levels as well. He is past president of the Southeastern Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials. He also has served as president of AASHTO.
In 2001, the Arkansas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors presented Flowers with its most prestigious award, the Skill, Integrity and Responsibility Award (SIR) for his outstanding contributions to the industry.
Flowers was honored in 2004 by the University of Arkansas’s Department of Civil Engineering when the “Dan Flowers Education and Training Facility” was dedicated in his name. The facility is part of the Mack-Blackwell National Transportation Study Center at the University of Arkansas.
Also in 2004, Flowers was awarded the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Thomas H. McDonald Memorial Award for professional achievement in the transportation industry making him only the 18th individual in the history of AASHTO to have received both the McDonald and Bartlett awards.
In 2005, he received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the University of Arkansas College of Engineering.
George S. Bartlett, the award’s namesake, was an energetic and innovative promoter of concrete between the world wars. He was known as the “ Apostle of Concrete” for his tireless promotion of the benefits of concrete roads and the greatest single influence of its use. Previous recipients of the Bartlett Award include, among others, Mary Peters, current secretary of transportation; Norman Mineta, former secretary of transportation; and Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.