Ed Hassinger of St. Louis named MoDOT Chief Engineer

Ed Hassinger, who has been MoDOT District Engineer in St Louis for the past twelve years, was named yesterday as MoDOT's Chief Engineer.

Hassinger fills the position previous held by Dave Nichols, who became MoDOT Director in March of this year. So what does this mean for MoDOT's future bicycle and pedestrian policy?  Hassinger was probably the best possible candidate that MoDOT could have chosen to fill this position.  Hassinger's leadership of the MoDOT St Louis District over the past 12 years has helped establish it as one of the very most friendly and accommodating districts for bicycling and walking in the state.

So Hassinger has more hands-on experience in dealing successfully with bicycle and pedestrian issues than most any other top-level MoDOT leader, and he has also seen how bicycle and pedestrian accommodations work to create connections at the region-wide level, far more so that most other MoDOT districts across the state.

At Capitol Day 2013, Hassinger received MoBikeFed's "Friend of Missouri Bicycling and Walking" award--the first MoDOT District Engineer to be so honored.  His award text reads:

Ed Hassinger, MoDOT, St. Louis
Ed is MoDOT District Engineer for the St. Louis region who has been very supportive of numerous bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs over the years.  Under Ed's leadership, the St. Louis District has been a leader among MoDOT districts for accommodating bicycling and walking.  Ed has worked with MoDOT staff to integrate proper ADA design in area sidewalks, has also been very supportive of a recent initiative to address pedestrian fatalities in the St Louis region, and to encourage the inclusion of a bike/ped walkway in the newI-64/Daniel Boone Bridge.  This will be the first bike/ped walkway on a freeway bridge in Missouri.  Recently Ed served a directive to staff in St. Louis to focus on priority ares of implementation of the Gateway Bike Plan and to include a copy of the plan in every office to focus staff on implementation of the plan in each area team when possible.  

Ozarks First covered the announcement of Hassinger as Chief Engineer and adds these details about the new Chief Engineer:

"Ed has done an excellent job directing MoDOT's efforts in St. Louis," Nichols said. "Everywhere he's worked, he's built solid relationships that have enabled us to partner with others to achieve our goals. He's the right man to lead our districts, engineering divisions and maintenance efforts going forward." 

Hassinger, a native of Columbia and a 1983 graduate of the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, began his MoDOT career as a design engineer in the Bridge Division. He's also worked as a traffic engineer, bridge maintenance engineer, assistant district engineer in the St. Louis District, and spent one year as the District Engineer in the Northeast District in Hannibal. 

"I'm excited to accept the chief engineer position," Hassinger said. "We have significant challenges ahead of us with the funding situation we face to keep our system in the best condition possible while looking for opportunities to make the kind of improvements that our customers desire. It will take a total team effort to be successful and I feel honored to be able to lead that team." 

Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Chairman Joe Carmichael said, "Ed Hassinger has been a most-valued member of the MoDOT family for many years and the Commission has tremendous respect for what he has accomplished in St. Louis. We look forward to working even closer with him to develop Missouri's transportation priorities for the future." 

In the St. Louis District, Hassinger has led nearly 800 employees in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of 6,000 miles of roads in Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis Counties and the City of St. Louis. He is a registered professional engineer (P.E.) in the state of Missouri. 

Photo: Ed Hassinger