Georgia Transportation Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl was installed as the president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at the organization’s annual meeting in Nashville, TN.
AASHTO, comprised of officials from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, is considered the nation’s pre-eminent research, information and advocacy group in behalf of integrated national transportation system issues.
Linnenkohl, a Georgia DOT employee for approximately 37 years, including the past two as its commissioner, said highway safety will be his principal focus.
“First and foremost,” he noted, “it is our prime responsibility to continue to lead a results-oriented national highway safety effort … to make safer highways for motorists and workers our highest priority.”
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:
• Lead a results-oriented National Highway Safety Effort
• Promote the service and value of the nation’s transportation network
• Ensure quality in all the organization does.
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.
Among the Georgia delegation at the meeting, State Transportation Board member Ward Edwards of Butler said he attended to support Linnenkohl and that he and his 12 colleagues on the department’s policy-making and governing entity were “very proud of Harold. He represents our state extremely well and will do an excellent job as president.”