Corbett Reynolds brings 19 years of experience as the new Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) east central district engineer. Reynolds was promoted effective July 16, taking over leadership of 27 District Two counties.
He grabs the role previously held by James H. “Jimmy” Smith, P.E., who entered the position in January 2011. Smith is still with the department serving in a new role as special assistant to the commissioner.
The new district leader has experienced the construction field roles of project manager, area manager, local grants coordinator and district construction manager. Reynolds also knows the challenges of maintenance needs through stints as assistant area maintenance manager and most recently district maintenance manager. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from Southern Polytechnic State University.
Reynolds began his career in the old Swainsboro Area Office when construction staff shared just one computer and used radios to communicate in the field.
“I quickly learned GDOT employees are dedicated to their work and to helping each other. So many things have changed over the years but the constant has always been the good men and women who serve in this District. That is one of the reasons why I’m proud to say that my entire career has been in District Two,” Reynolds said.
Important career memories that helped mold the new district engineer included a snow and ice storm in January 2002. When key primary routes are impassable, the right decisions must be made and communicated to the team, holding overall department goals for success above a local issue.
“The major lesson that I learned during a storm event is that you stick to the plan and work the plan to the finish. We have to remember that we are one small but integral part of GDOT,” Reynolds said. “How we conduct our business may have an unintended effect on other vital operations. Looking back I probably made at least a dozen rookie mistakes during that storm event but the one thing I did get right was trusting the maintenance personnel. They had the experience and the expertise to do the job and to do it well.”
Taking a cue from his predecessor, Reynolds doesn’t want to sit back idle on yesterday’s success but instead find ways to provide an even better service to east central Georgia customers.
“I’ve developed some great relationships with many people in the district, and I look forward to building more relationships. I have a tremendous respect for what our employees do each day to serve this state. It is a great honor and privilege to serve with you as your District Engineer,” he said.
GDOT is divided into seven districts. District Two, with the main office based in Tennille, serves 27 counties and employs 429 people. The region, divided into five area offices, includes over 3,300 state route centerline miles, 187 interstate centerline miles and 1,862 bridges.