Tom Corey of Dover was recently appointed deputy director of ODOT District 11, headquartered in New Philadelphia. (Submitted)
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WJER) - A Dover man resident is now in charge of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s local office.
Tom Corey was recently appointed deputy director of ODOT District 11, headquartered in New Philadelphia. He now oversees 327 employees, including engineers and consultants who design and manage road projects in seven counties in eastern Ohio.
“And then we have our 200-plus employees that maintain our roads on a day-to-day basis, everything from snow and ice to patching the potholes and mowing the grass,” he says.
Corey has a long history with ODOT, most recently serving as the deputy director for statewide operations in Columbus. He says he has steadily climbed the ranks since he started in the 1990s.
“To throw a little sports analogy in, I’m kind of a walk-on here at ODOT,” he says. “I started as a seasonal driver. We actually have a seasonal program that still exists to this day, 23 years later, that we essentially hire part-time drivers for in the wintertime to supplement our full-time workforce to perform snow and ice duties. That’s actually how I got my start here at ODOT some 23 years ago.”
Corey says District 11 has about a $42-million annual construction budget, reduced from about $70-million in past years.
“Even though we just increased our gas tax we still are going to be really challenged to maintain what we have,” he says. “Our infrastructure has been well taken care of but there’s still more to do out there.”
Corey says as ODOT focuses on infrastructure projects, he urges motorists to focus on the road, put down their cell phones and move over for road workers.