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Washington County's chief engineer quits

McGhee to work on Metrorail extension project

McGhee to work on Metrorail extension project

January 25, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

After more than 19 years with the Washington County Engineering Department, Chief Engineer Terrance P. McGhee resigned Tuesday to take a job in the private sector, according to a press release.

McGhee is taking a position with Bechtel Corp., where he will work on a project in Tyson's Corner, Va., to extend the Washington, D.C., Metrorail to Dulles International Airport.

His last day with the county will be Feb. 15.

"The department has come a long way since I first took over. We have much improved technical capabilities and a very good staff. Obviously, I will miss them and wish them well, but feel the county's engineering department is well positioned to tackle the future challenges facing this community," McGhee said in a statement.

McGhee started with the county in June 1988 as an assistant county engineer. He was appointed county engineer in April 1990. That position was later renamed chief engineer.

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He was instrumental in modernizing the county's road maintenance program, which once used resident complaints and informal assessments to prioritize road repair projects, said Joseph Kroboth, director of the county's public works department.

Kroboth said McGhee helped create a system whereby roads are inventoried by a specialized truck, photographed and rated with a point system to determine which roads need to be fixed first.

"It really manages that asset based on engineering issues and takes emotion out of the decision. He helped create that," Kroboth said.

The county's engineering department has 25 employees and an annual operating budget of $1.9 million. In fiscal year 2008, the department managed $13.2 million in capital projects.

Kroboth said an interim chief engineer likely will be named to fill McGhee's position until the county can find a permanent replacement.

No candidates had been identified for the interim position as of Wednesday, Kroboth said.

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