N.C. Names Highway Administrator

Wed January 17, 2007 - Southeast Edition
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Bill Rosser, a 37-year veteran of the state Department of Transportation, has been named the agency’s next highway administrator.

Rosser now oversees more than 10,000 employees. He is responsible for fixing management problems blamed for mistakes made during an Interstate 40 widening project that will cost approximately $18.6 million to repair.

“He knows highway construction and maintenance in and out, and he will be evaluating and implementing needed change in project delivery and oversight,” said Lyndo Tippett, the state’s transportation secretary.

Rosser replaced highway administrator Len Sanderson, who retired Jan. 1. Sanderson’s retirement announcement came approximately a week after Tippett said he planned to discipline department workers responsible for the paving problems.

Three highly paid administrators involved in the I-40 project were disciplined earlier.

Repairs will be made along a 10.6-mi. section of I-40 in Durham County that was widened in 1999. The project utilized a process called concrete bonded overlay, which involved laying a 3-in. layer of pavement on the highway’s original lanes between U.S. 15-501 and state Highway 147.

The concrete should have lasted for 30 years but began to crack a few years after the project was completed.

Officials have said the plans lacked important construction details that would have helped the new concrete to bond with old pavement and to move as the weather changed.

Rosser has worked as highway maintenance chief and director of field operations. He planned to retire until Tippett persuaded him otherwise, Rosser said.

“He thought I could be of help with some of his key recommendations here, and I found it difficult to tell him no,” Rosser said.

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