The secret to Eric Claussen’s success can be attributed to great timing.
Claussen is a traffic engineer for the city of Springfield, a position he has held for the past eight years. It’s his job to make sure drivers can smoothly travel the streets of the city.
In 2013, Claussen noticed the traffic signals couldn’t keep pace with drivers.
“With the ever-changing traffic patterns and the same timing plans in place for over 10 years, a retiming project for the city was in dire need,” Claussen says.
Since he had worked for both the Missouri Department of Tanportation and the city of Springfield, he says he felt he had a strong enough relationship with both to approach them with “a plan, a budget, a project schedule and a promise” that he could improve traffic flow on the city’s main arteries and also decrease emissions and fuel usage across the city.
“Management gave me the ‘green light,’” he jokes.
He and his team began collecting data, developing traffic models, testing and implementing the new traffic-signal timing plan in 2013, with the first phase of the project completed that fall. Phase II was implemented in spring 2014, and the final phase will be running by this summer, he says.
The effort and its results have been acknowledged with multiple awards, including the Transportation Achievement award to the city from the Midwestern District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, which covers an 11-state region.
Claussen also was recognized for his leadership on the project. He was named as both the 2013 Young Transportation Professional of the Year by the Missouri Valley Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the 2013 Transportation Professional of the Year by the Ozarks Chapter of the ITE.
And, he got a book deal, so to speak.
“I organized and chaired a committee for the Federal Highway Administration to develop ‘Traffic Practices: A Guidebook for City & County Agencies,’” he says, describing the handbook as a tool to help small communities in the state with such issues as safe roadways and traffic control.
Claussen’s professional drive propels him beyond roadwork.
“Last year, I approached Public Works leadership with a vision and a goal to take on additional management roles and to create opportunities for myself to be utilized in multiple areas,” he says
When he’s not keeping traffic running smoothly through the city, Claussen doesn’t just park himself at home.
He says having a leadership position in the community helps him understand the importance of giving back. Claussen is a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, United Way of the Ozarks and the Salvation Army.[[In-content Ad]]