C. Michael Walton, Professor in Transportation Engineering, was recently awarded the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Road Hand Award. This award is an honored TxDOT tradition to acknowledge those who have made improvements to Texas transportation a labor of love.
In the early days of the 20th century, anyone who helped build roads was called a Road Hand. Today’s Road Hands are citizens who have given their time, energy, and vision to help improve transportation throughout the state. In bestowing this award, TxDOT recognizes its friends who have helped build one of the best transportation systems in the world. Luther DeBerry (BSCE ’37), a former State Highway Engineer, created the Road Hand award in 1973 as the highest tribute to public-spirited citizens who
championed transportation projects in their community.
Professor Walton is recognized for his involvement in shaping the state’s future transportation plans. According to Amadeo Saenz, Jr., TxDOT Executive Director, he has played a decisive role in helping determine the fiscal requirements for the state’s transportation goals by serving as chair of the agency’s “2030 Committee”. The 2030 report provides a comprehensive analysis of estimated needs, the anticipated costs to realize those needs, and the resulting benefits of highway construction and maintenance on urban and rural mobility and safety.
The names of Road Hand award recipients are inscribed on the Road Hand Hall of Honor plaque which hangs prominently in the foyer of the historic Dewitt C. Green Highway Building in Austin.