TxDOT El Paso Engineer Valtier Receives Prestigious Recognition
The Dewitt C. Greer Award recognizes a TxDOT engineer for outstanding service to the people of Texas. The primary basis for selecting an award winner is the contribution that the individual has made to the development of highways and public transportation in Texas. Those eligible for the award are engineers who are or have been employees of the department for at least four years. The engineer receiving the award is to be actively engaged in any of the following types of engineering: planning, transportation, design, construction, maintenance, bridges, materials and research, or traffic. The recognition has been awarded annually since 1967.
Valtier, a 26-year veteran of the department, has spent his TxDOT career in El Paso and is the first Greer Award recipient in the El Paso District.
He started his career with TxDOT in May of 1995 as an Engineering Assistant and has served as Transportation Engineer, Director of Construction, Director of Transportation Planning and Development, and since May of 2020, has been Deputy District Engineer.
“Ask anyone about Eddie Valtier and the words, trusted leader, quickly come to mind,” said TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Tomas Treviño. “With that exemplification of leadership comes invaluable contributions to the El Paso District, Texas Transportation, and future engineers. From design to construction and project management, Eddie’s work has left an invaluable footprint. His roles called for him to be involved in all aspects including funding, design, budgets, environmental, public involvement, and administration.”
The next time you see a tubular overhead sign bridge Valtier may come to mind. They may only look like massive green posts, but they are an El Paso-first designed by Valtier. The El Paso District was the pioneer and the first in the state to design and construct monotube overhead sign bridges on interstate and state highways in Texas. The first sign was installed in 2004 on US 85. Subsequent installations were on Interstate 10. The design replaced multi-rail truss bridges, is more aesthetic, and entails less maintenance — virtually eliminating problems of graffiti and vandalism. This particular design subsequently became a state standard available for statewide use by all districts.
Valtier helped lead the way for another first, this time for financing. Texas Inner Loop Spur 601 represents one of the first projects developed as a pass-through financing agreement (also known as shadow tolling) in the United States. In this case, the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) served as the conduit bond issuer on behalf of a private developer. The $321-million project involved the construction of a four-lane, 7.4-mile divided freeway between US 54 and Loop 375. The pass-through agreement combined with private debt funding accelerated the start of the El Paso Spur 601 Project by an estimated five to 10 years.
That same project was also the El Paso District’s first design-build project, and Valtier helped lead the team. He coordinated with the developer’s design, construction, and engineering teams and with the CRRMA and Fort Bliss. Valtier was also critical to the district’s subsequent design-build projects: I-10 at Loop 375 Americas Interchange — a $146-million project and the first construction project developed by CRRMA — and the $640-million Border West Expressway in which Valtier was additionally involved in the environmental and schematic phase required for the expressway.
As the Director of Transportation Planning and Development, Valtier was also instrumental with the district’s I-10 Connect project. The $100-million highway reconstruction project along the I-10, I-110, US 54, and Loop 375 (Cesar Chavez Border Highway) corridors addresses connectivity, mobility, and congestion on the existing roadway network.
In project development, Valtier oversaw the creation and implementation of the 2013 County Comprehensive Mobility Plan, which included coordination with the County of El Paso, CRRMA, MPO, and the use of innovative funding/financing mechanisms like the county’s optional added Vehicle Registration Fee. He was also instrumental in passing the latest mobility plan, passed in December 2019.
Most recently as the Director of Transportation Planning and Development, Valtier oversaw more than $2 billion in transportation projects in the El Paso District. He also worked with local governments in the six-county region to support their needed roadway projects funded with federal and state funding. Other accomplishments include: the creation of the PMO group that has improved tracking of individual projects; the Instituted District Design Review to bring maintenance and construction folks into the design process of projects to improve the quality of the product before it goes out to the letting; and restructuring the former Advance Project Development and District Design sections to streamline engineering design functions.
Valtier also recognizes and nurtures young engineers into future leaders at TxDOT and mentors student engineers at his alma mater, The University of Texas at El Paso. Most recently, Valtier has taken the lead in restarting the young engineers group in the El Paso District in implementing a rotational program to get new engineers well rounded in all aspects of TxDOT. A native of El Paso, he is also a Bel Air High School alumnus.