Historic ODOT Director to step down

First woman director led record construction investment
in multi-modal transportation system

COLUMBUS (Thursday, January 6, 2011) - Historic in her position and the accomplishments she directed - including the state’s largest investment in transportation construction in Ohio history - Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris will step down from her position January 9.

Appointed in 2009 by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Director Molitoris is the first woman to lead the century-old department.

Under her leadership, ODOT made investments in every county of the state and in every major mode of travel and shipping. Most notable, she led the department’s historic $2.1 billion construction program in state fiscal year 2010 - largest in Ohio history by more than 30 percent - at a time when ODOT staffing was at its lowest in 30 years.

This foundation for transforming how ODOT strategically invests in and supports a multi-modal transportation system is documented at: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/policy/Documents/ODOT-Foundation_for_Transformation.pdf.

The text of Director Molitoris’ letter to Governor Strickland is below:

Governor Ted Strickland
The Statehouse
Columbus, OH 43215

Dear Governor Strickland,

Due to the transition of Administration, effective January 10, 2011, I have been notified that I will be released from my current employment with the State of Ohio as of midnight on January 9, 2011. Accordingly, I resign effective as of that date and time.

Just two years ago - on January 6, 2009 - the citizen-volunteers of Ohio’s 21st Century Transportation Priorities Task Force issued a clear challenge: "We believe that in the face of economic upheaval, strategic investments in transportation can bring new jobs and help retain the precious ones we already have. By boldly reinventing our transportation system now, we can position Ohio to stimulate and drive the growth of the future."

That’s exactly what we did. Under your leadership, we redefined the mission of ODOT - to seven simple words - Moving Ohio into a Prosperous New World. The status quo was not acceptable. To create jobs in Ohio and rebuild our economy, we delivered on the largest commitment in the state’s history to improving Ohio's transportation system, with more than $2 billion in construction projects in 2010 and another $2 billion in construction for 2011. With the help of transportation partners in every section of the state, we built a strong foundation for continued transformation in Ohio’s multi-modal system.

Over the past four years, Team ODOT…

  • awarded an historic 2,534 construction projects totaling $5.3 billion and administered 810 local-let projects for a total of $1.12 billion;
  • directed more than a billion dollars to improving the safety of state and local bridges;
  • documented fewer than 4800 fatalities on state roadways, with 2009 representing the safest year on our roads and the safest year at roadway-railroad crossings;
  • assisted Ohio transit agencies in purchasing 1,170 new fuel-efficient and greener buses, worth more than $142.6 million;
  • invested historic levels of contracted or subcontracted work totaling $575,454,791 with minority and women-owned (DBE) firms and companies;
  • surpassed California as third in nation in total active freight rail miles and witnessed a 14 percent increase in Ohioans riding passenger trains;
  • invested $21.9 million in new sidewalk projects and $66.1 million in new bike path projects;
  • and raised $1.6 million and 44,294 pounds of food for Ohio charities through employee donations to the Combined Charitable Campaign and the Plow Through Hunger food drive.

I am very proud of Team ODOT in partnership with so many public and private entities and individuals who achieved so much return on the investment of precious tax dollars and human resources. Historic achievement occurred on so many levels. What we have undertaken during your administration was not simply 'change for change's sake' - together we have led a transformational effort to better connect Team ODOT's work to Ohio's economic engine, recognizing that transportation and the economy are inextricably linked.

It has been an honor to serve in your Administration. Because of your leadership, we have put Ohioans to work in record numbers. We have built transportation projects that are important and are MOVING OHIO INTO A PROSPEROUS NEW WORLD!

Sincerely,
Jolene M. Molitoris
Director, Ohio Department of Transportation

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For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640.