TXDOT names Lance Simmons state’s chief engineer

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Lance Simmons -- Courtesy: Texas Department of Transportation

ATLANTA, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) says they have appointed Lance W. Simmons, P.E., as the agency’s new chief engineer.

Simmons, a Linden native and a 28-year veteran of the department, will direct and coordinate the department’s statewide engineering and district operations to ensure the state’s transportation system is built and operates in a safe, efficient and effective manner.

“It is a great honor to be named to the position of chief engineer for this great agency,” Simmons said. “I look forward to working with our districts as we continue to move forward with projects to maintain and enhance the safety of Texas state highways.”

Simmons, who has been married to his wife, Deanne, for 30 years, started out with TXDOT as a summer hire with the Atlanta office in the early 1990s.

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A Terry Scholar at Texas A&M University, Simmons earned his bachelor’s degree in 1994 and began working at the district’s design office.

Simmons served as the Atlanta district’s bridge/special projects engineer from 2001-09, overseeing the development of a $151 million construction project on Interstate 30 in Texarkana, which included filling gaps in the frontage road system, converting the frontage roads to one-way, and relocating roadways under overpasses to move traffic more smoothly and efficiently.

“I have been blessed to work with many wonderful people in TxDOT who were generous enough to share their knowledge with me,” said Simmons. “It’s now my turn to provide insight and guidance that I have learned over the years.”

Simmons won the Luther DeBerry Award and was named as the district’s director of operations in 2010.

In 2015, Simmons was named the district engineer in TXDOT’s Bryan district. While there, he oversaw the planning, design, building, operation and maintenance of the state transportation system for that 10-county district. In 2021, he was named the transportation department’s director of engineering and safety operations in Austin. In that role, Simmons supervised and coordinated the agency’s engineering operations under the direction of the chief engineer. Simmons will continue to serve as the director of engineering and safety operations until a replacement is named.

Simmons and his wife have two children, Parker, 24, and Alyssa, 22, both of whom are Aggies.