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Zink to Receive Agrey Award from Transportation Institute

Posted: Sep 8, 2004

Ray Zink, retired chief engineer for the North Dakota Department of Transportation will receive the John M. Agrey Award from the UGPTI.

The award recognizes significant contributions to transportation. It is named for John Agrey, a pioneer and innovator in North Dakota transportation who worked for more than 30 years with the North Dakota Public Service Commission. Zink will receive the award Sept. 28 at the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute's Annual Awards Banquet at the Fargo Holiday Inn.

During his career Zink implemented major reforms within the department. He created the "master equipment operator" position which was instrumental in slowing turnover in the ranks of equipment operators and reinstating pride with in the maintenance force. He also led the consolidation of maintenance sections leading to more efficient, productive employees and workstations. Finally, he established the low-load program to preserve the highway system by limiting the weight of tractor-trailer vehicles.

Originally from Bordulac, N.D., Zink earned a B.S. degree in engineering from NDSU in 1959. He began his career with the N.D. DOT that same year as a draftsman and eventually became the department's chief engineer. He retired in 1999 as deputy director for engineering policy and director of the office of highway operations.

Zink also served as vice-chair of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Highways. He also served on the AASHTO Committee for National Cooperative Highway Research Programs.

Colleagues note that during his more than 40 years with the North Dakota DOT, he worked effectively with three governors, four NDDOT directors, members of both political parties and the workers of the DOT. Zink and his wife, Alita, have four children and live in Bismarck.

Published in NDSU's staff newsletter
It's Happening at State
Sept. 8, 2004

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050