A picture of Representative Jo Bonner
Jo B.
Former Republican AL 1
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    Honoring Donald Vaughn, Former Chief Engineer, Alabama Department of Transportation

    by Former Representative Jo Bonner

    Posted on 2013-02-06

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    BONNER of alabama in the house of representatives Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Mr. BONNER. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to pay tribute to Mr. Donald W. Vaughn, a distinguished civil servant of the State of Alabama who will be inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame on February, 23, 2013.

    A 1971 graduate of Auburn University's School of Engineering, Don Vaughn served the Alabama Highway Department for more than 40 years before retiring in 2012. His contributions to the enhancement of Alabama's transportation system over the last four decades are reflected in the state's modern highways and continued emphasis on traffic safety.

    Don holds a lifelong passion for engineering that began even before he earned his degree. Indeed, he started work as a survey party member for the Alabama Highway Department in 1966 at the same he entered college. He spent summer breaks and between quarters assisting state surveyor crews even as he studied at Auburn University. After graduation in 1972, Don began full-time work in the Alabama Highway Department's Engineering Education Training Program as a Graduate Civil Engineer. He subsequently rose in the ranks, starting as an Interstate Bureau Engineer, 1973-1976, Assistant Location Engineer, 1976-1979, Location Engineer, 1980-1983, Assistant Chief of Design Bureau, 1983- 1987, Bureau Chief of Office Engineer Bureau, 1987-1989, and, in July 1989, he was appointed Administrative Engineer to the Transportation Director.

    Under Governor Fob James, Don was promoted to Assistant Transportation Director on October 1, 1997. He served in that position until February 1999 when he was appointed Assistant Chief Engineer. Governor Donald Siegelman appointed him Assistant Transportation Director on July 1, 2001. He was appointed to the position of Deputy Director, Operations in February 2003. On June 1, 2005, Don was appointed Chief Engineer by Governor Bob Riley.

    An active leader in Alabama and national transportation organizations, Don was President of the Alabama Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Chairman of the Traffic Safety Committee, Chairman of the US Route Numbering Committee, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Safety Management of the Standing Committee on Highways of the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials. He also served on the Alabama Enterprise Zone Advisory Council, the Inland Waterways and Intermodal Infrastructure Advisory Board, and the Alabama Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority.

    Don retired at the rank of Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves Civil Engineer Corps and was the 2009 Auburn University Outstanding Civil Engineer Alumnus.

    On behalf of the people of Alabama, I would like to extend personal congratulations to Don on his induction into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. His service to improving the quality and safety of Alabama's roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure is second to none.

    I wish Don and his wife, Becki, and their entire family the very best in their future endeavors.


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