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William Bair receives top MDOT employee award

William Bair Portrait August 26, 2020 -- William Bair of Swartz Creek has received the 2020 Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director's Award, the department's highest employee honor for outstanding service. MDOT established the annual award more than 30 years ago to recognize those who exhibit leadership and exemplary public service.

"Whether assisting with work zone inspections or coordinating local agency jobs, Bill does so with a commitment to quality and professionalism," said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. "He sets a high standard of accountability, both internally and externally, and consistently shows fairness and respect in all interactions, and we are all grateful for his service."

Bair, honored in the labor and safety category, has made improving drainage within Oakland County a personal mission. Knowing that good drainage extends the life of a road, he has accepted the challenge to evaluate, repair, and maintain the entire drainage system in the county. Bair took the lead on developing a county-wide GIS database containing information on thousands of catch basins, culverts, and other drainage structures, and initiated cost-saving strategies to repair hundreds of previously neglected structures. He has directed efforts to reestablish ditches throughout the county and led efforts to clean, inspect, and repair dozens of culverts. As a result of Bair's dedication, the overall system has gone from roughly 60 percent in good condition to about 90 percent, which has reduced roadway failures and overall maintenance costs, and improved mobility.

The Director's Award program represents the various work categories within the department. While MDOT employees nominate their peers, committees comprised of workers from each category make the final recommendations to the department.