Cabin is calling as Goodman reaches the end of the roadAfter 30 years of hard work, Lake County Highway Engineer Alan Goodman said he is looking forward to retirement. He plans to spend time with his family, especially his three grandchildren, make improvements on his cabin near Grand Rapids, and enjoy golfing, night-fishing and reading. “Retirement opens another door, and I’ll get to go through that door and see what’s on the other side,” Goodman said. “It just felt like it was time.”
By: Claire Hoffert, Lake County News Chronicle
After 30 years of hard work, Lake County Highway Engineer Alan Goodman said he is looking forward to retirement. He plans to spend time with his family, especially his three grandchildren, make improvements on his cabin near Grand Rapids, and enjoy golfing, night-fishing and reading.
“Retirement opens another door, and I’ll get to go through that door and see what’s on the other side,” Goodman said. “It just felt like it was time.”
Walter Leu, the Assistant District Engineer of State Aid and Planning for the Minnesota Department of Transportation said he’s going to miss Goodman.
“He was always willing to help and very easy to work with,” Leu said.
Evidence of Goodman’s career surround Lake County residents – the Forest Highway 11 project, the reconstruction of County Road 2 and the Lake County Historical Society’s Lighthouse and Depot Entry projects have all been completed on his watch.
He also held his county position as its top road guru during two of the North Shore’s biggest projects: The construction of the tunnels at Silver Creek Cliff and Lafayette Bluff.
To finance the many projects and structures, Goodman acquired more than $150 million worth of state and federal funds.
“That’s an unbelievable amount of state and federal money,” Leu said. “He went way over above and beyond a regular highway engineer to secure funds for the department.”
Goodman was active in the County Engineers Association and served on many committees, such as the Better Roads and Legislative committees. He has played an important role in the completion of the Two Harbors Sonju Trail, the Beaver Bay Trailhead, and the Safe Routes to School projects in sum, over 25 federal aid projects.
Leu and Rich Sve, Lake County Commissioner and Board Chair, both said that one of Goodman’s best attributes is his ability to form good relationships at the local, state and federal levels.
“He is invaluable. As I go around the state, everybody knows him. Those connections and networking have served him well,” Sve said.
In addition to receiving the Two Harbors Citizen of the Year Award in 2011, Goodman and his department accepted the Federal Highway Administration Award as well as the Excellence in Design Award for Forest Highway 11.
Along with his big projects, Sve said that Goodman’s major accomplishments include the day-to-day work.
“It’s also what he brings to the community – the safety aspect. He brings the roads to a driveable, passable condition and he’s ready for emergencies, like last year’s flood,” Sve said.
According to Goodman, his colleagues are the best part of his work.
“They’re about the best group of county employees that you’d find anywhere. You put out a challenge and they rise to the occasion,” he said.
Sve agreed. “He has a great road crew underneath him. They’re top-notch and he hears what they say.”
The Lake County Highway Department is currently in the interview process for the next Highway Engineer.
“The big point I’d like to make to the new engineer is to appreciate the people you’ve got, enjoy your time here, and do a good job for the citizens of Lake County,” Goodman said.