Serving the High Plains

NMDOT chief retires after 27 years

New Mexico Department of Transportation chief Michael Sandoval retired effective Sunday after 27 years in state government, according to a news release last week from the agency.

Under his leadership, NMDOT implemented more than $3 billion in construction programs over the last 3 1/2 years.

Before his appointment as cabinet secretary, he served as executive manager of the department’s Modal Divisions, in which he oversaw hundreds of contracts, the state’s 12 ports of entry and major transportation projects including the Rail Runner, commercial vehicle permitting, and traffic safety.

Born and raised in Santa Fe, Sandoval graduated from St. Michael’s High School and received his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from New Mexico State University.

“My decision to retire did not come easily,” Sandoval stated. “I love my job and I am proud of the accomplishments and time I spent being of service to New Mexicans. … I believe the department is in a good place and it’s time to carve out more time for my wife, children, family, and golf.”

Deputy Secretary Justin Reese will serve as acting secretary for the department while the administration conducts a search to fill the position.