Transportation: STEPHEN C. BRICH
COMMISSIONER, VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RICHMOND
An early January snowstorm snarled traffic and stranded hundreds of travelers — including U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine — for 36 hours along a 48-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia, leading to criticism over the state’s response. Brich, who was appointed in 2018, admitted communications could have been better and told The Washington Post improvements were made as a result.
An Old Dominion University and University of Virginia graduate, Brich oversees the country’s third largest highway agency and is responsible for VDOT’s $7.6 billion budget, about 7,600 employees and more than 58,000 miles of roads and other infrastructure. He’s also responsible for the agency’s $3.8 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion. On track for completion in late 2025, it’s the largest project in VDOT history.
WHAT MAKES ME PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: Knowing that we are improving the lives of the traveling public and keeping them safe to return to their loved ones each night.
BEST ADVICE FOR OTHERS: In general: Be a mile wide and an inch deep in your knowledge base. … My caveat — I want my bridge engineers to be an inch wide and a mile deep on their knowledge base.