McGuinness stepping down as chief of Indiana Department of Transportation

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Joe McGuinness

Joe McGuinness plans to step down as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation after five years in the position, the governor’s office announced Thursday.

McGuinness, who was appointed to the role in 2017, is leaving to become CEO of a new local government infrastructure management consulting company, the office said.

McGuinness will be succeeded by Mike Smith, deputy commissioner and chief financial officer for INDOT. Smith will begin his new job Monday.

Smith has been a deputy commissioner for INDOT since 2015, when he started overseeing the Greenfield district. He became chief operating officer in 2017 and was named chief financial officer in 2021.

McGuinness served as the mayor of Franklin for five years before becoming INDOT commissioner.

The governor’s office says during his tenure, McGuinness expedited the completion of the new Interstate 69 from Evansville to Indianapolis by three years, helped communities modernize their transportation networks, and oversaw major investments in northwest Indiana with the South Shore Line double-tracking project and West Lake Corridor extension, among other achievements.

“From day one, Commissioner McGuinness harnessed his local government experience and the many resources at INDOT to find innovative ways to expedite construction projects and create safer work zones, all while finishing projects on budget and ahead of schedule whenever possible,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in written remarks. “Under his leadership, Indiana continues to offer a world-class infrastructure system, which remains a key engine to our economic growth and safety.”

Smith, who earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, was Indianapolis-area district manager for Walmart prior to joining INDOT.

“Mike brought experience from the fast-paced demands of managing business growth to INDOT, where he has been involved in day-to-day work in a district, developed comprehensive fleet management plans, invested taxpayer money in the best technologies, and developed biennium budgets to maintain and build Indiana’s infrastructure,” Holcomb said. “That breadth and depth of experience and determination will serve residents and businesses well as we continue making the best use of dollars to provide a top-rated infrastructure network for Hoosiers and our guests.”

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3 thoughts on “McGuinness stepping down as chief of Indiana Department of Transportation

    1. Hey, our legislators have chosen not to fund roads. If there’s complaint towards INDOT, it’s that they don’t build roads that last … but that’s in part because we refuse to properly fund infrastructure and they’re trying to do as much as they can without not enough.

      It will be very interesting to see how well this new company is able to profit from having a former INDOT head as chief.

      “McGuinness is leaving to head a consulting firm that will help businesses and local governments plan for their infrastructure needs, from making sure there’s adequate connections for new development to adjusting for newer technologies, like electric and self-driving vehicles.“

    2. This is the type of commentary that is not needed. It is rude and sophomoric and counterproductive, without specifics and meaningful statements.

      As noted infrastructure does not last forever. And potholes occur each year under each administration and regardless of the party in control.