Washington, D.C. — Dave Gehr, a senior vice president and highway market leader at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Northeastern Region vice chairman, is the 2015 recipient of the George S. Bartlett Award. It was presented May 10 during ARTBA’s Federal Issues Program in the Nation’s Capital.
Established in 1931, and co-sponsored by ARTBA, the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the Bartlett Award annually recognizes an individual who “has made an outstanding contribution to highway progress in the United States.”
Gehr’s career in the transportation construction industry spans over 40 years. He grew up in a roadbuilding family, and made roadbuilding his life’s work. Gehr has a distinguished record of leadership in the highway industry – in both the public and private sectors — and with a number of state and national associations.
After earning a civil engineering degree at the Virginia Military Institute, he spent three decades with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). At VDOT, Gehr served as a district, and then regional, transportation engineer before being promoted to assistant commissioner for operations in 1986, a post he held until the governor of Virginia appointed him the Commonwealth’s transportation commissioner in 1994.
As VDOT’s chief executive officer, Gehr was responsible for a 55,000-mile highway network, and provided the overall management of, and strategic direction for, the agency’s $2.7 billion annual budget and 10,000 employees.
Gehr left public service in 1999 and brought his leadership and management skills to Parsons Brinckerhoff. He is also past President of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Virginia Section, and has served on numerous boards and committees for ARTBA and its Foundation, TRB, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of America and the I-95 Corridor Coalition.
The George S. Bartlett Award is named for the man regarded as the greatest single influence on the use of concrete roads in the United States. During his career, Bartlett was lauded by contemporaries in the concrete and highway industry for his energetic and innovative promotion of concrete roads. In 1909, he established experimental stretches of concrete working with the Wayne County Road Commission in Michigan – the birthplace of modern road construction – and the University Portland Cement Company.