Nestor Fernandez, whose transportation career began 22 years ago in Mexico and spans nearly two decades with the Idaho Transportation Department, assumed responsibilities this week for administering the state’s GARVEE-bonded construction program.
In his new position, Fernandez will help shape Idaho’s transportation future by coordinating Gov. Kempthorne’s Connecting Idaho initiative.
The visionary plan leverages future federal funds to compress three decades of highway construction projects into the next 10 years, vastly improving travel in every region of Idaho and stimulating commerce and tourism.
“This key leadership role will coordinate and administer the GARVEE Investment Program enacted by the Legislature in April,” said ITD Director Dave Ekern in announcing the appointment Tuesday.
“He will work with the districts, Transportation Board, Headquarters staff, the department’s new program management company and others to focus on delivery of $1.2 billion in the 13 GARVEE corridors throughout the state.”
Fernandez agrees the future will be both challenging and rewarding as the Idaho embarks on one of the largest construction eras in state history.
“These are new and exciting times for the Idaho Transportation Department,” he said. “I am excited to be part of the department’s future as we explore alternative funding opportunities and seek ways to expand the transportation infrastructure for Idaho. I look forward to creating strong relationships with the districts in this new journey.”
Fernandez began his ITD career in 1987 as a Transportation Technician-Senior, working in the materials lab, testing paving materials such as asphalt, soils, aggregate and concrete. He also assisted with new product research.
He joined the EIT program two years later, rotating through an array of assignments including District 4 design and construction, District 3 maintenance and traffic, and roadway design, materials, right-of-way, construction, environmental, internal review and financial services at ITD Headquarters.
As staff engineer for District 3 in Boise (1992-1997) Fernandez served as local roads coordinator and design engineer. In that capacity he designed, reviewed and evaluated local and state projects. Highlights include work on the Franklin-to-Curtis interchange (Interstate 84), the WYE Interchange, Sebree-to-Fairfield interchange and the McCall Alternate Route.
For the past seven years, he has worked as Engineer Manager
1 at Headquarters, as the consultant administration and local roads
engineer. He was responsible for managing more than $30 million annually
in professional service agreements for the department.
He became a licensed professional engineer in 1992 in Idaho and a licensed civil engineer in Mexico 19 years earlier. Fernandez graduated from Polytecnico National Institute in Mexico City in 1983.
“We are excited to continue the Connecting Idaho process and are confident Nestor will provide us the critical leadership,” Ekern added. “Please join me in congratulating Nestor and assisting him in the transition as we enter the most exciting period in Idaho transportation history.”