Tuesday, January 08, 2008

TxDOT Bureaucracy swells at the top

TxDOT Announces New Members of Leadership Team

Saenz expands administration to reflect changing role of agency

Jan 7, 2008

Copyright 2007

Transportation today announced selections for the final three members of Executive Director Amadeo Saenz's leadership team. The new Assistant Executive Director for Engineering Operations is John Barton of Beaumont. The newly-formed office of Assistant Executive Director for District Operations will be lead by David Casteel of San Antonio. The newly-formed office of Assistant Executive Director for Innovative Project Development will be lead by Phil Russell of Austin.

"John, David and Phil are all outstanding professionals," said Saenz. "All ofthem understand the complex and serious transportation challenges our state faces, and I know they share my commitment to meeting them with hard work, dedication and creativity."

John Barton began working for TxDOT as a summer employee of the Wichita Falls District, while he was still in high school. After graduating from Texas A&M University, Barton continued his work for the department. In 2003 Barton received the President's Award for Planning from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. In December 2003, he was named to his current position as District Engineer for the eight-county Beaumont District.

As the new Assistant Executive Director for Engineering Operations, Barton will oversee and coordinate operations for nine divisions and offices. Barton will assist in directing long and short-range planning for the agency including the establishment of overall operating objectives and the technical merits of programs and policies.

David Casteel has served as the District Engineer for the 12-county San Antonio District since 2003. He holds bachelors and masters degrees from Texas A&M University and is a graduate of the Governor's Executive Development Program at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University ofTexas at Austin.

A TxDOT employee since his first summer job with the department in 1983,Casteel served as District Engineer of the Childress and Corpus Christi Districts before moving to San Antonio.
As Assistant Executive Director for District Operations, Casteel will oversee the state's 25 TxDOT districts.

Phil Russell, a transportation engineer with 25 years state experienceincluding leadership roles in Bryan, Dallas and Austin, has served as theDirector of the Texas Turnpike Authority Division since 1998.

He oversaw the planning and development of the Central Texas Turnpike Project.The first 44 miles of the project were opened under budget and a year aheadof schedule.

Russell has directed efforts to relieve congestion on Interstate 35 in Texaswith the development of Trans-Texas Corridor 35. He is also in charge of planning TTC-69, a 600-mile multi-use transportation corridor extending fromNortheast Texas to Mexico.

Russell started work for TxDOT in 1982 and held numerous positions in TxDOT's 10-county Bryan District and seven-county Dallas District before moving to the turnpike division in Austin.

In addition to being a professional engineer, Russell is also a lawyer. In his new position as Assistant Executive Director for Innovative Project Development, Russell will oversee and coordinate turnpike/tollway projects and statewide transportation planning/ programming operations for TxDOT. He will oversee functions related to the development and operation of turnpike projects to include Comprehensive Development Agreements, market evaluations, pass-thru finance agreements, Trans-Texas Corridor activities, and long-term transportation planning.
TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz created the two new positions ofAssistant Executive Director for District Operations and Assistant Executive Director for Innovative Project Development to help meet his objectives.

"I want to make sure that our TxDOT Districts have all of the resources we can provide them to work with local officials to solve local mobility problems,"Saenz said. "Our innovative programs, including toll projects built by TxDOT, local authorities and the private sector, also deserve special focus as we work to meet our department's goals."
Barton, Casteel and Russell will assume their new roles on February 1, 2008. They join Deputy Executive Director Steve Simmons, Chief Financial Officer James Bass, Assistant Executive Director for Support Operations Ed Serna and Government and Public Affairs Director Coby Chase in Saenz's administration. Saenz took office in September of 2007.

About the Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining nearly 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 15,000 employees strive to empower local leaders to solve local transportation problems, and to use new financial tools, including tolling and public-private partnerships, to reduce congestion and pave the way for future economic growth while enhancing safety, improving air quality and increasing the value of the state's transportation
assets. Find out more at www.txdot.gov.

For more Information call TxDOT's Government & Public Affairs Division at (512) 463 - 8588.

SOURCE Texas Department of Transportation

Texas Department of Transportation Government & Public Affairs Division,

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