CT News 2017, Issue 4

Director's Corner

SB 1's passage puts dozens of projects ahead of schedule

Malcolm Dougherty

Things are ramping up. Thanks to the passage of SB 1, we are accelerating 48 major “fix-it-first” projects, worth more than $1.4 billion, a year earlier than planned. In August, the California Transportation Commission authorized nearly $690 million to accelerate 32 projects, in addition to the 16 projects that received funding in June. We also began construction this summer on 13 pavement projects across the state, worth almost $43 million


Protecting flaggers

The trailer-mounted Automated Flagger Assistance Device has a remotely controlled mechanical arm that raises and lowers to direct traffic through a work zone.

Controlling traffic through highway work zones is one of the most important – and hazardous – jobs in construction and maintenance, according to the National Safety Council. Retired Caltrans Los Flores Maintenance Station Supervisor Henry Harris said flaggers stand in a highway traffic lane, usually in the heat of the summer construction season, for hours.

Growing up in Caltrans

Larry Orcutt

It was in the late 1980s, as a first-time Caltrans resident engineer, working to build the Gibson Interchange on the northernmost part of Interstate 5 in District 2, that Larry Orcutt said he learned the most. “It was trial under fire – literally,” Orcutt said. “Three resident engineer trailers burned down during that project. We lost everything and I had to tell my office manager to get everything we needed to work the next day."

Foundation assistance funds

Errant drivers are a constant threat to Caltrans workers. In less than a month, collisions involving errant drivers injured one Caltrans employee and killed another. The California Transportation Foundation has created assistance funds to help their families.

Recognized for exceptional work

Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty (on the right) stands with Capital Outlay Support Program Deputy District 12 Director Adnan Maiah, who won the Charles H. Purcell Award at the California Transportation Foundation’s annual Transportation Award ceremony in May.

Controlling traffic through highway work zones is one of the most important – and hazardous – jobs in construction and maintenance, according to the National Safety Council. Retired Caltrans Los Flores Maintenance Station Supervisor Henry Harris said flaggers stand in a highway traffic lane, usually in the heat of the summer construction season, for hours.

Hats Off

Grateful cycling advocate

Pictured from left to right: Caltrans Senior Transportation Planner Sergio Ruiz, Construction Resident Engineer Brian Santos, Regional Project Manager Kelly Hirschberg, Transportation Planner Dianne Yee, and Senior Transportation Engineer James Ley received the below thank you letter for improving a bicycle, highway and railroad crossing in the Highway 29 Channelization Project.

"I want to send a heartfelt 'thank you' from the bottom of my heart for your response and following through on the green lane and delineation project at Whitehall Lane. Honestly, this is such a huge success, I really don’t have enough words to say thank you enough."

Informative and insightful job fair

Hundreds of people came to Caltrans’ Marysville Career Fair to learn about opportunities to work in Caltrans’ Divisions of Human Resources, Legal, Engineering Services, Surveying, Information Technology, Transportation and Environmental Planning, Maintenance, Equipment and more.

"Thank you all for the outstanding and most excellent Job Fair held in Marysville on June 1, 2017!!! You provided a friendly, professional and informative presentation of your department’s divisions. I can't say I've seen anything like it. You have set the bar high by giving the community insight on the important work that Caltrans provides the state and our nation. Well done!"

Health & Safety

Keep peace in the family 

After a tough day of work or school, the last thing families need is conflict and stress at home. Yet we often take our loved ones for granted and treat the people closest to us the worst. If we’ve had a bad day, it’s easy to take out our frustrations on our partner or children, and everyone suffers. If your home is a less than peaceful place, there are ways to make things better.

Customer Service

Caltrans’ Vision at Work

Patrick Kelly

Hello. My name is Patrick Olsen and I’ve been with Caltrans since August, 2016. I’m very excited to be here, and have seen a lot in my time here so far…an epic winter of storms and damage followed by the monumental passage of the SB1 transportation funding package. These are exciting times at Caltrans, and I’m really enjoying the activity and challenges that we all are faced with.


A list of Caltrans employees who retired or for whom certificates were requested.

Service Awards

Employees who are celebrating 25 and 40 years of service..

Who's New

Bob Myers, equipment chief

Bob Myers

Bob Myers is the new Division of Equipment chief. Bob’s commitment to leadership, innovation, and excellent customer service, along with his ability to build strong partnerships, will complement the Division of Equipment’s core business functions and professionalism.

Trophy Case

Engineer awarded for bridge innovation 

The International Concrete Repair Institute gave Caltrans Structure Maintenance & Investigations Civil Transportation Engineer Tim Campbell an Award of Merit for his innovative preservation work on the Malpaso Creek Bridge rehabilitation project in Monterey County.

Caltrans Structure Maintenance & Investigations Civil Transportation Engineer Tim Campbell received an Award of Merit from the International Concrete Repair Institute for his design of the Malpaso Creek Bridge rehabilitation project in Monterey County on State Route 1.


Russell Hanson, retired highway engineer

After a two-year battle with leukemia, Russell Edward Hanson passed away at the age of 80 on August 1, 2017. Russell graduated from Sacramento High School and attended Sacramento City College and U.C. Berkeley. He served in the United State Army where he was renowned for his expert marksmanship. Russ retired from Caltrans in 2000 after 43 years of service as a highway engineer.

Paul Inman, maintenance supervisor

District 3 Maintenance Supervisor Paul Inman was killed August 8 in a fatal collision on his way to work.

District 3 Maintenance Supervisor Paul Inman was killed August 8, 2017, as the result of a fatal collision on his way to work. Paul was 42 years old and a 16+ year District 3 Maintenance employee. He proudly served as a Caltrans Honor Guard in the early days of that program. He is survived by his wife of 22 years Jennifer, 19-year old son Hunter and 16-year old twins Taylor and Austin. He also leaves behind his siblings Brian Carson, Tyler Inman, DJ Inman and Dawn Boyle; mother and stepfather Laura and Gene Carson; and his father and stepmother Dave and Michelle Inman.

Clarence Klassen, retired senior maintenance superintendent

Clarence George “Chuck” Klassen was born March 13, 1930, in Ganado, Arizona, and passed away in Solvang, California, on May 16, as the result of a fall. He worked at a motorcycle shop before he began his career with the California Division of Highways (now known as Caltrans). Klassen took his work at Caltrans seriously, and his diligence helped him go from a highway equipment operator to the senior maintenance superintendent for the Santa Barbara area. His Caltrans career took him and his family all over California. 

Richard James LeBeau, retired chief bridge engineer

Richard “Dick” James LeBeau born in 1933 in Westboro Massachusetts and died June 18, 2017. Dick graduated Connecticut University and moved to California in 1957. He joined the California Division of Highways and worked from 1957 to 1963 in Bridge Construction. He retired from Caltrans in 1992 after 34 years and as a Chief Bridge Engineer. 

Hardie Massengill, property manager

Hardie Massengill

Hardie Massengill died May 3. He was born Sept. 14, 1949, to Vernal Massengill and Elneatha Bryant in Marlin, Texas. Hardie was known as “Easy” because he had to be reminded to “take it easy” due to his passion for everything he did. He took great pride in himself and his work ethic. Hardie worked for Caltrans in districts 7 and 12, where he eventually retired as Property Manager in Dec. 2014 after nearly 36 years of state service.

Deborah Cecilia Meyers, retired senior right of way agent

Deborah Cecilia Meyers

Deborah Cecilia Meyers died June 9, 2017. In 1978, Deborah graduated from the University of California, Riverside, with a degree in political science. Following graduation, she became one of Caltrans’ first female African American Right of Way Agents. She worked in the Los Angeles office for 12 years before being promoted to Senior Right of Way Agent in Santa Ana.

Irwin Schulman, retired senior attorney

Irwin Schulman was born June 1, 1934, and died August 11, 2017, when he peacefully passed away after a short battle with pneumonia. Irwin graduated top of his class in 1960 at the UCLA School of Law and quickly became a respected senior attorney serving for 50 years with the Caltrans Legal Division.

Peggy Unruh, retired draftsperson

The late Peggy and John Unruh, who were draftsmen for the Division of Highways (now Caltrans), are pictured here with a model they made of the Santa Monica/San Diego Freeway Interchange.

Peggy H. Unruh died May 17. For 50 years, she was married to John T. Unruh, who passed away in 2005. The couple lived in southern California for many years, where they were draftsmen for the State Division of Highways – now known as Caltrans. There they designed several of the area’s freeway interchanges. 

CT News - Caltrans' employee newsletter


Reed Parsell
Editor, Caltrans News (May 2019 to the present)

Tamie McGowen
Assistant Deputy Director, Public Affairs

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