Chief operations officer announces Division of Highways realignment

Chief Operations Officer Jim Carpenter announced today a reorganization of the Division of Highways to improve its operations. The changes will take effect in mid-November.

The Division of Highways will be divided into three divisions to reflect its commitment to all modes of travel and concentrate sections in areas with similar objectives.

The six district offices will remain in the Division of Highways. The district engineers will report directly to Chief Operations Officer Jim Carpenter.

Two new divisions will be formed – The Division of Engineering Products and Plans and the Division of Engineering Services.

The Division of Engineering Products and Plans will be comprised of Headquarters’ sections that develop their own products and engineering plans and are directly responsibility for completing them. Chief Engineer Tom Cole will lead this division.

The Division of Engineering Services will consist of Headquarters’ sections that help other divisions meet their goals by providing guidance in procedures, sharing best practices, data needs, technology systems, planning and innovative approaches to engineering disciplines. An administrator has not been selected for this division.

“The realignment places all of our support services into one division,” said Chief Operations Officer Jim Carpenter. “This will provide an opportunity for the sections and employees to better define how they can assist others.”

While improvements have been made in the Division of Highways since the department’s realignment three years ago, they have not been achieved at the rate anticipated.

“This told the leadership team two things,” Carpenter said. “One, that we need to clarify how the headquarters’ staff assists the districts. And second, we need to improve how the districts take advantage of these services.”

Recent retirements in the division provided the opportunity to reassess the organizational structure and how it could support the department’s vision of a smaller, higher-skilled and better-paid workforce.

“After a lengthy assessment, the leadership team agreed that through reorganization one less high-level manager was needed and we could still make improvements in our performance measures,” Carpenter said.

Published 10-25-13