May 23, 2012
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District 3, Central Office employees take part in walk/bike events

By Jessica Wiens

people riding bikes

From left, Mike Schadauer, Transit Office director; Gina Mitteco, Metro District; and Kirby Becker, Statewide Multimodal Planning, take a lunchtime bike ride through downtown St. Paul as part of the Commuter Challenge State Capitol Walk/Bike event. Photo by Jessica Wiens  

Employees across the state are taking advantage of the sunny days to be active during their breaks and lunches. District 3 and Central Office hosted events in May to encourage even more folks to get active.

District 3/Baxter employees participated in Walk-the-Block Week May 14-18, where they received a stamp for each 15-minute walk completed. During the five-day period, 23 walkers took 31 walks and went 131.5 miles.

Some participants received prizes and everyone received breakfast bars and hard-boiled eggs. District 3’s Wellness Committee hosted the event.


Ellie Quarry, District 3 administrative services, walks during her lunch break as part of Walk-the-Block Week. Quarry walked 15 times during the week. Photo by Jenny Seelen

Central Office employees took part in the 11th annual Commuter Challenge State Capitol Walk/Bike event and health fair May 16.

More than 375 employees from several state agencies walked 1,200 laps. Of the total, 165 of those walkers were from MnDOT and they logged 549.5 laps. A lap is approximately one mile. 

Minnesota Management and Budget had 66 employees who walked 244.5 laps. 

This is the first year the event included a bicycling component. About 50 people took part in a bicycle ride that demonstrated how easy and convenient it can be to ride to meetings at nearby state office buildings rather than drive. Commissioner Tom Sorel, Department of Health Commissioner Edward Elinger, and Explore Minnesota Tourism Director John Edman also took part in the event. 

Of the group, about 15 people used Nice Ride bicycles. The Nice Ride bike share system is expanding into St. Paul in June. One of the stations will be near the MnDOT Central Office building. About 150 people received Nice Ride bicycle helmets and coupons for $10 off a Nice Ride membership as part of the health fair.


Employees learn how to get involved in transportation research

Testimonials given on how national research programs benefit the department, state of Minnesota

Several employees gathered at Central Office on May 16 to see presentations from Transportation Research Board members and learn how they can get involved in transportation research. 

Research Services hosted the hour-long brown bag event, which provided participants with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the agency’s research partners and programs.

Richard Pain and Monica Stearns, TRB, presented information on the TRB and Strategic Highway Research Program, which addresses some of the most pressing needs related to the nation’s highway system, including safety, aging infrastructure and congestion.

Three MnDOT employees also provided testimonials—Ken Buckeye, Policy Analysis, Research and Innovation, Bill Gardner, Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations director, and Roger Olson, Materials, described their experiences with research programs. They are three names on a long list of MnDOT employees who have become nationally recognized experts in their field by directly participating in the TRB and SHRP2 programs.

The TRB is a division of the National Research Council, which consists of research-oriented committees, panels and task forces. Its communication focus has created a participating network of more than 7,000 engineers, scientists and other transportation researchers and practitioners across the United States.

SHRP2 is administered by the TRB and was approved by Congress to address some of the most pressing needs related to the nation’s highway system. Through project funding and research committees, the SHRP2 program oversees and participates in necessary research aimed to improve highway safety, renewal, reliability and capacity.

For more information on transportation research, and to stay current with TRB publications, visit http://ihub/research/TRB.html.

Bill Gardner shares experience on national freight research

Bill Gardner

Bill Gardner, Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations director. MnDOT file photo

Bill Gardner, Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations director, spoke about his active support of freight research activities at the May 16 Research Services event.

Gardner said shifting supply chains and changes in infrastructure are trends MnDOT should strive to better understand.

“We need to make certain Minnesota remains connected and competitive as national and international freight transportation systems evolve,” Gardner said.

One example Garner provided is the widening of the Panama Canal for larger ships, which is scheduled for completion in 2014. This project will shift freight away from West Coast ports to the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast ports, and together with the return of some manufacturing to the United States, change how goods flow into and out of Minnesota.

Another example Gardner cited as relevant for helping Minnesota achieve a unified vision for freight corridors and facilities is the National Cooperative Freight Research Program’s Project #24—Preserving and Protecting Freight Infrastructure and Routes.

“Part of this effort has been to educate decision makers about the value of freight to the local and regional economy,” Gardner said. “Communities often don’t want to accommodate freight services, but we rely upon those services to keep our shelves stocked and enable our shippers to move their goods to market cost-effectively.

“MnDOT needs to do a better job of proactively bringing communities and the freight industry together to mitigate existing conflicts and avoid future ones. These tools and strategies will help with that effort.”

Gardner’s involvement in freight research is aimed at helping Minnesota achieve its goal of being a global leader in transportation with direct access to the latest data, technologies and practices.

On a national level, Gardner participates in NCFRP, serving on several project advisory panels and as a member of the NCFRP program oversight committee. He also is one of two U.S. representatives on the World Road Association’s Freight Transport committee, which conducts international research and represents MnDOT in the AASHTO Mid America Freight Coalition, a partnership that conducts pooled fund research specific to the Midwest.

For more information about freight research, contact Bill Gardner at



Lynn Eaton begins mobility as shared services manager


Lynn Eaton began his mobility assignment as shared services manager May 22. Photo by Karen Bedeau

Lynn Eaton, former District 2 engineer, began his mobility assignment as MnDOT’s shared services manager May 22. 

In his new role, Eaton will work across divisions to plan and implement the department’s shared services. The initial focus will be to build upon work started in the Operations Division in the area of Program Delivery.

The department will be posting the District 2 engineer position to provide a six- to nine-month leadership rotation opportunity, mirroring what it did recently with district engineer positions in Districts 1, 3, and 4.

Eaton has worked for MnDOT more than 28 years. During his career, he has served as preliminary design engineer, soils engineer, project engineer, resident engineer, state project management engineer, road research manager, District 2 assistant district engineer for Operations and District 2 assistant district engineer for Program Delivery before becoming District 2 engineer in 2004.

Eaton graduated from the University of North Dakota where he received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in management from the University of Minnesota.

Eaton will continue to work from District 2/Bemidji and can be reached at 218-766-4722 or


The big switch: Districts 3 and 4 get new district engineers

By Bob Filipczak


Jody Martinson, District 4 engineer. MnDOT file photo

Both District 3 and District 4 took on new leadership May 23, as Jody Martinson moved from her mobility as District 3 engineer to a permanent position as District 4 engineer. Dan Anderson did the same, only vice versa—from District 4 to District 3.

Martinson has a lot of history in both districts as a graduate engineer, project engineer, Right of Way engineer, planner and program development manager. She began her MnDOT career in 1992 as an engineering intern in District 4.

“It is a great honor to be able to serve MnDOT and the citizens of Minnesota in this leadership role. I promise to be a strong advocate for District 4 and our employees,” Martinson said. “Being on mobility as the district engineer for District 3 was such a great experience and I encourage employees to take advantage of those types of opportunities. I look forward to building and expanding relationships with our employees, transportation partners and communities.”

Martinson graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.


Dan Anderson, District 3 engineer. MnDOT file photo

She can be reached at or 218-846-3603.

Dan Anderson has worked in the Metro District, Central Office and District 3 during his 27-year career. He started as a graduate engineer, rotating through a variety of areas including hydraulic design, traffic engineering and construction. Anderson also served as a project engineer and resident engineer in Oakdale before moving to the area maintenance engineer position in District 3/St. Cloud in 1997.

Anderson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.  

He can be reached at or 218-828-5703.

District 1 employee eligible for vacation donation

Marvin Carlson, District 1/Duluth Construction, is now eligible for the state vacation donation program, which allows employees to donate up to 40 hours of vacation per fiscal year for approved recipients who have exhausted their sick and vacation leave due to illness.

Carlson, a MnDOT employee for more than 26 years, was diagnosed with a life threatening medical condition and is unable to work.

To donate vacation hours, go to the Employee Self Service Web site and click “Other Payroll” and then “Leave Donations.” The site also allows employees to view a list of all state employees eligible for the program and enroll as a recipient.

Related information:

Road to recovery: Vacation donation program eases the pain (Newsline, Nov. 10, 2010)—Read a viewpoint from one MnDOT recipient.


Commissionerís next book discussion set for June 19

Jon Huseby

Jon Huseby, District 8 engineer, will lead the next Commissioner’s Reading Corner discussion June 19. Photo by David Gonzalez

Employees are invited to attend the latest Commissioner’s Reading Corner discussion Tuesday, June 19, at 1:30 p.m., in the MnDOT Library at Central Office.

Jon Huseby, District 8 engineer, will lead a discussion of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey.

Employees also can participate virtually via Adobe Connect and should log in as a guest no earlier than 1:15 p.m. All employees are encouraged to attend, even if they have not yet read the book, according to Qin Tang, MnDOT librarian.

This will be the sixth CRC event of the 2012 season.

For more information on the Commissioner’s Reading Corner, visit ihub/readingcorner. Employees with questions can contact Qin Tang at 651-366-3784.

An interview featuring Huseby’s reaction to Covey's book will be available soon at


Peter Buchen named assistant state traffic engineer

Peter Buchen has been named assistant state traffic engineer in the Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology. Buchen had been filling the position on a mobility assignment for the past year.

Buchen has worked at MnDOT since 1988 in various offices and positions, including pre-design, design and traffic in District 6 and District 8. Most recently, he served as Airport Development Section manager in the Office of Aeronautics.

Buchen graduated from the University of Wisconsin where he received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in infrastructure systems engineering from the University of Minnesota.


New Library Materials posted on Web

By Qin Tang

The April 2012 edition of New Library Materials is now available at

The edition features information about the recent release of a new digital collection—Minnesota Highways, the department’s employee newsletter from November 1951 – October 1976. In that timeframe, the department published nearly 300 issues of Minnesota Highways.

Archived editions of New Library Materials are available at

New Library Materials is a compilation of new titles and other resources added to the library collection during the previous month. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please contact Pam Gonzalez at 651-366-3749.

For other information requests, contact the library at 651-366-3791 or email Employees also can send requests via the “Ask a Librarian” webpage at

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