Damon Allen expects to look back as he begins to look forward – drawing on recent experience as an assistant engineer in District 3 and Roadway Design Engineer at Headquarters in preparation for his new position – District 1 Engineer in Coeur d’Alene.
ITD Chief Engineer Steve Hutchinson announced Allen’s selection Tuesday.
“I am pleased to announce that Damon has accepted the position,” Hutchinson said. “His experience at Headquarters and in District Three will position him well for his new leadership role in District One.”
Allen expects to begin the transition in July, although he will not formally assume new duties until August.
“It’s my understanding that we had some very solid internal candidates with considerable depth and experience,” Allen said of the position vacated by Scott Stokes, who became the department’s deputy director in February after nearly 11 years as district engineer in Coeur d’Alene. “I am both shocked and humbled to get the position, and I look forward to working with the people in District 1.”
Allen trades the state’s fastest growing region, and one of the most ambitious construction schedules, for a district that is following a similar path or rapid growth and increasing demand.
“The district is in the middle of a very busy construction and development cycle,” Allen said. “It also has a considerable piece of the GARVEE program – Worley North and Garwood to Sagle – and the large Sandpoint North-South project.”
District 1, which extends from the Canada border to the Latah County line north of Moscow, has high projected growth, difficult terrain for highway construction and challenging environmental considerations.
“As assistant district engineer in Boise I got to see the wave of hyper-development, access control, traffic congestion, environmental and public involvement requirements… I think that prepared me well for what I will find in District 1.”
Citizens of northern Idaho are very engaged in the transportation planning process, Allen said. He inherits a legacy – left by Stokes and acting district engineer Andrea Storjohann – that includes excellent rapport with policy makers, elected officials and the public.
“I will be working in a new geographic area and developing new contacts in the transportation community. It will definitely stretch me.”
Allen, a native of Missouri, was assistant District 3 engineer from November 2004 to February 2006, managing nearly a dozen separate sections (project development, right of way, planning, traffic, materials, location, project management, electricians, striping, CAD and design).
He previously served as Region 2 Engineer in the district (2000 to 2004), project Engineer in the district’s Region 1 (1999-2000) and project Manager in District 3 Design (1999).
Before coming to Idaho in 1999, Allen was a construction manager for the St. Charles (Missouri) County Highway Department, and a bridge engineer for the county. He also was a staff engineer, construction inspector and engineer for private firms and the Missouri Department of Transportation.
He is a licensed professional engineer and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1989. His wife Jeanne is an electronics engineer for Plexus, a computer circuit manufacturer in Nampa. They live in Middleton with daughter Nicole, 6, and son Jack, 1.