Talk about Culture Shock!
Idaho Transportation Department North-Central (District 2) Materials Engineer Chad Clawson, who has been with the department for 18 years, was informed Feb. 16 that he earned a 2018 Transportation Management Fellowship from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
He will leave tiny Genesee (pop. 958) and report to Washington, D.C. in April for the year-long commitment. There are about 680,000 people in the D.C. area proper, with a metro-area population of more than five million people.
“My initial reaction was disbelief, then excitement and internal panic; really, it was difficult to contain my excitement,” said Clawson. “This is going to be a great opportunity for personal and professional growth.”
In his nomination letter in November 2017, Chad was most intrigued by the exposure to transportation and infrastructure planning on a larger scale than is typically afforded him in Idaho.
He is excited to bring that big-picture thinking to his position within ITD, benefiting road users. “I look forward to synthesizing ideas — then bringing them back to our department, and showing Idaho pride to the rest of the nation.”
Clawson said the year with AASHTO will be spent working on a broad range of technical issues with design, traffic engineering, materials and operations. “There will be reauthorization of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, committee policy work, and a good deal of traveling. I will have direct involvement with topics at a different level that directly affect our safety, standards, and business practices here at ITD.”
Clawson works in planning and project delivery for ITD District 2, helping prioritize a construction budget of about $15 million annually.