Pierce County engineer receives national award

Pierce County’s transportation and programming manager has been named winner of a new award established by the National Association of County Engineers. Gary Predoehl, who has been with the Department of Public Works and Utilities/Transportation Services for 13 years, is the first winner of the Project/Program Manager of the Year Award.

Predoehl was nominated by Pierce County Engineer Brian Stacy for his leadership role in developing the county’s Traffic Impact Fee program. “Gary led public outreach efforts and garnered the political support to make the TIF program a reality. His sheer force of will took the program from concept to legislation,” Stacy said.

The award was presented Wednesday evening, April 25 during a banquet program that concluded the NACE annual conference in Milwaukee, WI. It recognizes significant work by an individual on a project or program for a county that has demonstrated a commitment to the engineering profession and shows potential for future growth.

The TIF Program will change the way developments are reviewed for traffic impacts and mitigation, making the process more consistent, predictable, fair and timely. A process whereby developers will be able to calculate the costs associated with the traffic impacts of their developments early in the process will replace the current negotiation process under the State Environmental Policy Act. New development will pay traffic impact fees based on their location and the type and size of development, and the permit process associated with transportation should take weeks rather than months.

Pierce County estimates the TIF program will generate $188 million over the next 20 years. These dollars, along with approximately $300 million of public funds, will provide funding for 46 major road projects and 134 stand-alone intersection projects.

Predoehl is a civil engineering graduate of California State University in Sacramento and holds a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has held engineering positions in Snohomish County and in Corvallis, OR, and was an administrative pastor in Cheyenne, WY. He and his wife, Sharon, have two adult children and enjoy gardening in their spare time.