DETROIT — Matthew Chynoweth, chief bridge engineer and director of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Bureau of Bridges and Structures, has been named national complex bridge director for WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy.
In his new role, Chynoweth will provide strategic direction and leadership to WSP’s national complex bridge team, providing technical expertise and innovative solutions for the firm’s clients. He will engage with the firm’s technical experts to develop full suites of services to highway and bridge agencies and collaborate with regional and local leadership to implement business development strategies that deliver strategic and technical solutions to clients.
Chynoweth will succeed Barton Newton, who is retiring as national director of complex bridges at WSP.
“Matt is a proven and recognized leader in complex bridges, and his impact over the past 20 years on bridge construction in Michigan has been substantial,” said Sofia Berger, transportation business line executive at WSP. “He understands from personal experience the challenges that our transportation clients face today, and what they require from their collaborations with bridge designers and engineers in order to achieve success. I am pleased that he will have opportunity to share his expertise with WSP clients on a national scale.”
Since 2017, Chynoweth has served as the first MDOT director of the Bureau of Bridges and Structures, which is responsible for statewide policy and procedure development and execution to ensure all bridges and structures are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated to ensure safety of the traveling public. He was involved at the ground level with the creation and commissioning of the bureau for MDOT.
In this role, Chynoweth was responsible for directing bridge design, construction and inspection for bridge structures across the state, as well as the development of technical policy related to large, complex and movable bridges. He served as the lead for Michigan bridge projects, including the Gordie Howe International Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario currently under construction. WSP is providing environmental services for the project.
Chynoweth previously served in several technical and leadership roles for MDOT, including deputy metro region engineer, engineer of bridge field services, and Bay City Transportation Service Center manager.
In addition to his duties with MDOT, he has served as an adjunct professor for a graduate bridge engineering course since 2020 at the University of Michigan; and since 2006 for a bridge design, evaluation and management course at Lawrence Technological University.
Cheynoweth is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and Wayne State University with a master’s degree in structural engineering.
He is a member of the Engineering Society of Detroit, and in 2019 received its Distinguished Service Award. He is a member of the American Segmental Bridge Institute executive committee, and in 2020 received its Leadership Award. He also serves as an advisory council member for the Harvard Business Review and is an executive committee member for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials committee on bridges and structures.
Newton joined WSP in 2014 as the national director of complex bridges following a 31-year career with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), where he served as the state bridge engineer, managing a staff of 100 engineers and administrators with responsibility for bridge projects, policies, and standards development. He also served as the state bridge maintenance engineer, chief of staff in the Caltrans director’s office, and as Caltrans’ liaison to the governor’s office, local governments, legislators and the business community.
About WSP USA
WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, one of the world's leading engineering and professional services firms. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment markets. With more than 12,000 employees in 200 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper. wsp.com
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