News Release for November 16, 2016

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297


MaineDOT Commissioner Named President of National Transportation Organization

Boston - Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner David B. Bernhardt, PE, has been chosen by the Board of Directors of AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) to serve as its next president for 2017.

AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the fifty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Its primary goal is to foster the development, operation and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.

“Transportation matters today more than ever,” said AASHTO President and MaineDOT Commissioner Bernhardt. “American families and business depend of transportation infrastructure to be competitive. I strongly believe that investment in the maintenance and upgrade of our transportation infrastructure is critical to sustaining a vibrant U.S.economy.”

As President, Bernhardt will concentrate on working closely with the President-Elect Trump Administration as well as members of Congress to develop strong transportation legislation. A top priority will be how to collectively address intermodal freight capacity and improving rail connections in addition to creating freight networks that support our nation’s businesses.

“Commissioner Bernhardt being named president of AASHTO means that Maine has an advantage, a direct conduit to the federal government regarding transportation infrastructure,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This reinforces why I put Commissioner Bernhardt in charge of MaineDOT. His 32 years of experience in all facets of transportation continues to benefit the State of Maine and will now benefit infrastructure projects throughout the entire nation.”

President Bernhardt was appointed Commissioner by Maine Governor Paul R. LePage in February, 2011. Prior to that, Bernhardt served in several top positions at MaineDOT including Director of Maintenance and Operations. Bernhardt is a 1984 graduate of the University of Maine at Orono, where he earned Associate’s and Bachelors of Science degrees in Civil Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer and he is an active participant on national and state committees involved in transportation. Bernhardt lives in Vassalboro with his wife Carmen and has two daughters, a son and new grandson.

In November 2014, AASHTO adopted a new strategic plan that called for a review of the committee structure and operations. Bernhardt will help lead the implementation of approved changes.

“AASHTO has helped shape America’s transportation priorities for more than 100 years,” said Bernhardt. “Everyone benefits from the roadways, bridges, pedestrian and bicycle trails that are revitalizing urban and rural communities and creating jobs and economic development here at home.”