GDOT Southwest District Engineer Hartley to retire

Published 4:08 pm Friday, June 23, 2017

District Engineer Chad Hartley started his Georgia Department of Transportation career in Tifton more than 30 years ago and will fittingly end his career here when he retires July 1.

Hartley has led Georgia DOT operations in District Four/Southwest Georgia since 2015.

“The Department and our district have accomplished a lot during the past two years. We improved transportation in Southwest Georgia and overcame several natural disasters. I am proud of the hard work and dedication the employees of our district have displayed,” Hartley said. 

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Hartley, a Tifton native, started working for the Department here in Southwest Georgia as a temporary maintenance employee during summer breaks as a student at Southern Polytechnic State University and Valdosta State University. After graduation, he joined the Department full time as a civil engineering technologist.

There isn’t much within the Department that Hartley hasn’t done while working in the areas of construction and maintenance.

He worked in construction in the Valdosta and Fitzgerald area offices before transferring to District Five/Southeast Georgia in 1995. He held a variety of positions there, but spent the majority of his time as the district maintenance engineer. Maintenance constitutes the bulk of employees and the largest department budget in any Georgia DOT district. Hartley was promoted to assistant district engineer in 2011.

Two of the highlights of Hartley’s career occurred during his tenure in Southeast Georgia. In September 1999, Georgia became the first state in the nation to utilize contraflow during a hurricane evacuation. The District reversed traffic on Interstate 16 to assist with massive evacuations as Hurricane Floyd bore down on Florida and coastal Georgia.

Five years later Hartley assisted the Secret Service and other state and federal agencies at the G8 Summit held at Sea Island off the Georgia coast. The Summit is an annual meeting of the eight largest industrial nations.

When Hartley left the Southeast District and returned to Tifton as district engineer he was following in the footsteps of his father, who once held the same position. Here Hartley supervises 440 employees in 31 counties and manages an annual operating budget of $28 million. He is the liaison between the Department and local, state and federal officials.

As Hartley cleans out his office and prepares to end his Department career, he said he appreciates the support of his family, friends and coworkers.

“I’ve enjoyed my time working with Commissioner Russell McMurry, Deputy Commissioner Mike Dover and the District Four State Transportation Board members,” he said.

Assistant District Engineer Brent Thomas will serve as the point of contact for District Four until a new district engineer is named. The Tifton district office can be reached at 229-386-3280.