Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Throughout 27 years of service to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), District 5 Area Engineer Bob Lynch feels lucky for the opportunity to fully comprehend the state department’s processes during his career.
“Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to get a full understanding of the internal operations of MoDOT, whether it is managing a budget, providing employee development, maintaining the roadway system, or completing a project that was once just a vision,” Lynch said.
From aiding in continuing road projects such as the safety enhancement features to Route 242 over to Route 5 or coming to the best solution for the Key Largo/Osage Beach Parkway intersection at the 54 Expressway, Lynch’s duties as a MoDOT area engineer is to be the local contact for the communities in which the department serves. Lynch feels MoDOT’s future vision is on target in providing proper safety for the area’s existing roadways and prepares to help implement that vision in years to come.
An engineering interest
Growing up in south county area of St. Louis, Lynch attended Oakville High School. His father worked for the Carling Brewing, Co. in Belleville, Ill., and his mother stayed home to take care of the family, including Lynch’s one sister and three brothers who now live at different locations around the country.
His interest in engineering spiked when he took a high school surveying class. After this class led him in the direction of civil engineering, Lynch attended the University of Missouri at Rolla, now known as Missouri S&T. In addition to belonging to a fraternity and enjoying the education and social environment the university provided, he said he was also fortunate to start with MoDOT while still attending college.
“Prior to completing college, I started with MoDOT as a draftsman in the design division in the St. Louis District. I was fortunate to work with a great team of fellow employees, and after a year and a half MoDOT encouraged me to complete my civil engineering degree,” he said. “MoDOT granted educational leave during this time, and I received a civil engineering degree in May of 1988. After I graduated from college, I came back to MoDOT as a highway designer in 1988.”
A shared vision with MoDOT
Lynch worked in the design division for three years and then transferred to the department’s construction division. He said after seven years in St. Louis, he received the resident engineer position at Lake of the Ozarks in 1996. In 1998, he became the area engineer for the Lake Area and have been in this position since.
“As an area engineer, the primary focus is to be the local contact for the various communities surrounding the Lake,” Lynch said. “I listen to the concerns people have, look for solutions, and finally, educate/execute the decisions made.”
Being with MoDOT for 27 years, Lynch said his work continues to be a great experience, working for a state agency that provides outstanding service to the citizens of Missouri. He said the growth in the transportation system has been tremendous and he feels contented to have worked with a large diverse group of dedicated individuals who strive to provide a great product that enhances the community’s quality of life.
In addition, Lynch said he also has felt privileged to be a part of a team MoDOT has established in the Lake Area. To him, this has been most rewarding.
“Locally in the Lake Area, MoDOT has about 70 employees who take care of the roads we drive on and who manage the construction of the roadway system. These individuals live within our communities and strive to do their best with the resources they have and to ensure the rest of us get home safely each night from our daily trips,” he said. “The other aspect that has been great is the involvement of the Lake community in transportation related activities. It’s critical for MoDOT to receive local input, whether it is working with a property owner to address their concern or with a civic leader on planning a new road.”
“As with MoDOT, there are a lot of dedicated individuals from the Lake community concerned about our transportation system and I have had the pleasure of working with them,” Lynch added.
Investing in the community
Lynch said MoDOT needs to stay focused on taking care of the existing roadway system, particularly in the Lake Area. He said they want to provide safety enhancement features to roadways such as the 2-4 foot paved shoulders with rumble stripes. In addition, Lynch said MoDOT plans for continued improvements to Route 5 north of the Niangua Bridge, as well as the extension of Route 242 over to Route 5 in Sunrise Beach.
“The challenge with moving forward with these projects is finding the funds, and at some point in the future, the citizens of Missouri will need to decide if they want to invest more in transportation,” he added.
Through his job and his personal life, Lynch has invested in the Lake Area community. He married his wife, Regina, in 1995. She and Lynch are both originally from the St. Louis region but had enjoyed many visits to the Lake with their family and friends prior to moving to Lake of the Ozarks in 1996 for Lynch’s job with MoDOT.
“We have two boys Garrett, 14, and Tyler, 11, who attend the School of the Osage. The boys and I have are lucky in that Regina has been able to stay home and take care of the family,” he said. “She enjoys volunteering at school and currently both boys are involved in the school band and the local Boy Scouts. Both Garrett and Tyler are working on their golf skills, and since it is one of my favorite sports, we enjoy spending time together on the course. As a family, we enjoy our vacations together, and we always have a great story to tell.”
Lynch said both his sons involved in Boy Scouts with Troop 21 in Lake Ozark, being a part of the organization since they were in first grade as Tiger Cubs. He said they enjoy the various activities the scouting organization provides and locally.
“The Lake community has a Boy Scout camp in Laurie where they attend summer camp each year,” he added. “Over the years, the boys have learned various life skills as well as the importance in providing community service to the area.”
Lynch said like other families, he and Regina concentrate on efforts in helping with the activities their sons are involved in such as Boy Scouts, school events and band booster club. He noted the highlight this year has been attending the Osage Band competitions and appreciating the effort of that talented group of Osage staff and students. In addition, Lynch said because of his position at MoDOT, he has had ample opportunities to interact and be involved in various organizations around the Lake Area.
Lynch is proud to work with MoDOT and quickly realized, along with his wife, that the Lake Area had excellent school systems and the quality of life they were looking for to raise a family. He excited for the future with his job as area engineer as he is excited for the future time he gets to enjoy living and working at Lake of the Ozarks.
“We describe living here in the Lake Area as the best of both worlds. We enjoy the busy summers, when family and friends come to visit and we run around like tourist on vacation. Then the summer ends, and we look forward to a more settled routine and shorter lines at the restaurants and stores,” he said. “We have never regretted our decision to move here 16 years ago, and are happy to call the Lake Area our home.”