Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Leader of Failed CRC Tapped as new ODOT Director

Well, on the surface this sure looks like a classic Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and Epic Fail.

From the ODOT press release:
On Tuesday, the Oregon Transportation Commission offered the position of ODOT director to Kris Strickler, who is currently Oregon’s Highway Division administrator. If Strickler accepts the OTC’s offer and is confirmed by the Oregon Senate, he will become ODOT’s 12th director. The commission decided to extend the offer to Strickler during a Tuesday afternoon meeting held by phone. The decision culminates a six-month national search for the next director by the commission. Strickler would succeed Matt Garrett, who served as ODOT director from 2005 to 2019....

Strickler brings to the position 20 years of experience on Oregon and Washington transportation issues.

In 2018, he became administrator for ODOT’s Highway Division, which oversees the design, construction and maintenance of Oregon’s highway system. Prior to that time, he was Southwest Region administrator for the Washington Department of Transportation and before that he was director of the Columbia River Crossing bridge project. He has also worked on transportation projects for various private engineering firms.
The CRC cost around $200 million and delivered nothing.

It was a giant boondoggle of epic proportion.

To understand this, then, as qualification for leading ODOT says something very retrograde and autoist about ODOT's future.

The Street Trust sent out a release fully panning the offer and prospective appointment:
There is nothing in Strickler’s experience that suggests he is prepared to lead this shift. He played a key role in the largest failed highway expansion project the Portland area has seen--the Columbia River Crossing. He offered virtually no substance in his presentation to a group of stakeholders who got to meet with three top candidates for the ODOT job.

The OTC ran a recruitment process that attracted talent from around the nation. There were two excellent choices for the job. Today, the OTC failed to select either of these candidates.
As others comment and react there may be more to say.

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