The man who has been overseeing the health and well-being of Michigan's highways and byways for the past dozen years will be stepping down on Halloween.
Gov. Rick Snyder has announced the pending retirement of Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, effective October 31st.
Snyder says, “Kirk has been an outstanding department leader, making MDOT a model for other states to emulate, but also as a leader in advance vehicle technology that has helped make Michigan the mobility capital of the world.” He adds, “Kirk is known around the world as a mobility rockstar – and that’s something he and all of Michigan should be proud of.”
Steudle has been the department director since 2006. He was the first cabinet member from the previous administration that Snyder asked to stay on. Steudle helped oversee numerous innovative approaches to transportation safety and improvements. Among these were performance measures on road projects and first-in-the-nation asset management principles.
Under Steudle’s strong leadership, MDOT played a significant role in launching MCity and the American Center for Mobility, establishing Michigan as the go-to resource in the United States for autonomous and connected vehicle research and development.
The successful public private partnership that improved freeway lighting in metro Detroit and the state’s first Flex Route project on U.S. 23 helped make travel safer and more efficient for hundreds of thousands of Michigan drivers every day. Steudle also oversaw the implementation of life-saving cable median barriers and the use of GPS to track snowplows.
Steudle says, “My entire professional career has been spent at MDOT. As I reflect on those more than 31 years, I could not be more honored to have worked alongside so many outstanding people in the service of our great state.” Steudle adds, “It has been especially rewarding to have Gov. Snyder’s support to address a decades-long transportation funding shortage. I hope to leave MDOT with a legacy of collegiality, collaboration, and partnership that shows what we can accomplish when we all work together.”
Gov. Snyder has not decided yet on either an interim or permanent appointment for the department director’s position. Stay tuned.
The photo accompanying this story on Moody on the Market is Kirk Steudel's formal State of Michigan portrait, courtesy of the Michigan Department of Transportation.