Paul Reitz, a Goliad native, has been promoted to area engineer, stepping up from the position of interim area engineer, a job he has held since September of last year.
Reitz is the first new engineer to hold the position in 18 years.
The Texas Department of Transportation announced earlier this month that Reitz received the promotion based on his broad experience in highway maintenance, construction project management, engineering skills and his good community contacts.
Reitz started his TxDOT career in 1996 as an engineering assistant in the Victoria area. His grandfather, Louis Reitz, was a longtime TxDOT employee who retired from the Goliad Maintenance Section. His uncle, Lonnie Gregorcyk, is the district engineer in Yoakum.
Reitz was promoted to transportation engineer in Victoria in 2001 after obtaining his professional engineering license. In 2006, he moved to the Karnes City area office and worked on farm-to-market road rehabilitation projects. He also oversaw the addition of passing lanes on U.S. Highway 59. He was in charge of adding two lanes of traffic and curb and gutter to U.S. 59.
After about nine months on that project, Reitz went to Corpus Christi where he served as district construction engineer for three years and worked on the painting and rehabilitation of the Harbor Bridge.
The engineer still lives in Goliad, where he and his wife, Michelle, have three children and where they still enjoy their rural lifestyle.
Reitz jumped at the chance to take the area engineer’s job on an interim basis.
“I knew when they asked me to do it on an interim basis that I wanted the permanent job,” Reitz said.
He now manages a staff of 48 people in the area who work out of three maintenance offices.
“It can be demanding, even though it is a rural area,” he said.
Some of the challenges of working in this area include the increased truck traffic that is a result of the new oilfield activity here.
Much of that traffic flows along U.S. Highway 59 and U.S. Highway 181. But a lot of the traffic also uses the farm-to-market roads in the area.
Maintaining the state roads and bridges in Bee, Goliad and Karnes counties is a high priority, Reitz said.
Part of his job is overseeing a budget of more than $3.9 million that includes preventive maintenance of roadways, signs, bridges, signal maintenance, vegetation control, guardrails and other right of way issues.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.