Summit County’s new engineers tout traffic experience
May 12, 2015
Summit County has recruited two new employees with both educational and practical experience in dealing with transportation to tackle the area’s transient issues.
Brandon Brady and Michael Kendell were each hired last month to fill vacant positions in the engineering department.
County Engineer Leslie Crawford, whose office oversaw their hiring, said they will be able to bring "a lot of experience and knowledge, academically and anecdotally, that can help us solve some of our problems."
"With both of their connections and experiences, I think we can really excel at what we are doing transportation-wise," Crawford said.
Kendell left the Salt Lake City engineering department, where he had worked for the last 10 years, to help oversee the county’s public works projects.
While in the Valley, Kendell was involved with several transportation projects, including the light rail lines and the Sugarhouse streetcar line. Kendell also had a hand in designing the 9 line bike trail.
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"When I worked for Salt Lake City I was able to be involved in several different projects, from the streets to the big rail projects and everything in between," Kendell said. "I think just being familiar with those types of projects and seeing the common obstacles you have to deal with, hopefully I’m able to avoid a lot of those."
Kendell steps into a new position that became available during the 2013 budget process when former County Manager Bob Jasper authorized the addition of another engineer. The position was briefly filled in 2014, but has since been vacant.
Brady was hired as a transportation engineer and is filling a position that has been open since November.
"I’m excited about the position," Brady said. "Right now, Summit County is really rapidly growing and it’s an exciting opportunity with all of the things that are happening here with transportation."
Brady joins the department after having worked in the private sector as a civil engineer in Emery County.
Most of Brady’s transportation experience and background stems from his education at Utah State University. Brady received his Master’s degree in transportation. His thesis dealt with reducing traffic through mass transit and a toll system to effectively lower pollution in Cache County.
Brady’s role will consist of reviewing traffic impact studies and engaging neighborhood Homeowner Associations for traffic counts and speed studies. He will also be working with the transportation General Plan and serving as a liaison for traffic impact fees.
"That’s what got me excited about coming here is seeing all the development and where they want to go with it," Brady said.
County Manager Tom Fisher said both employees bring technical backgrounds which will help staff analyze current problems and eventually devise solutions.
"Wherever they have worked and whatever they have experienced before might have dealt with some of these issues," Fisher said. "Beyond that, they may have implemented solutions and sought funding for those types of things in order to actually bring projects to bear.
"When it comes to actually implementing projects and putting money toward them, these two guys will be excellent for that," Fisher added.
Brady and Kendell were hired shortly after the Summit County Council adopted the county’s strategic plan, which identifies transportation as the number one priority amid concerns about increasing traffic.
"As much as we can with our traffic and transportation planning, coupled with the hiring of a transportation planner, we will have the complete package to really work with our planning in the future to make sure we are not boxing ourselves out of solutions," Fisher said.
Recruitment for the transportation planner position closes May 22, with the process expected to take up to two months.
"But we’re excited about the new folks," Fisher said. "With the County Council putting forward their top priority in their strategic plan, with that we are building the expectation that we will make some progress with this."
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