DOTD inducts two into Hall of Honor
Wednesday, July 26, 2006 at 12:00:00 AM

BATON ROUGE, La. – Former Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Deputy Secretary Blaise Carriere was inducted posthumously into the Louisiana Highways and Transportation Hall of Honor. Also inducted was former Louisiana Division Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Morris Reinhardt.

A ceremony was held at the DOTD headquarters building today honoring Carriere and Reinhardt. Guest speakers included Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association President W.P. Wray, Vice-President W.T. Taylor Jr. and Gordon Nelson, DOTD assistant secretary of operations. Neil Wagoner, former DOTD secretary, introduced Marilyn Carriere, the wife of Blaise Carriere. Tony Sussman, former division administrator of FHWA, introduced Reinhardt.

            The framed photos of Carriere and Reinhardt were installed in the Transportation Hall of Honor, located in the lobby of the DOTD headquarters building, along with those of past recipients. Following the program, the Louisiana Associated General Contractors sponsored a reception that was also held at the headquarters building.

Carriere began his professional career as a bridge design engineer with the Louisiana Highway Department, the precursor to today’s DOTD. He joined the New Orleans Streets Department in 1969 as deputy director and was named its director in December 1970. He left in May 1982 to join the engineering firm Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff, now known as HNTB.

He returned to state employment in 2000 as deputy secretary of DOTD. He was named assistant to the secretary for policy in 2004 and became special projects assistant in 2005.

During his career he was involved in the design of major highway bridges, including a moveable vertical-lift bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway; the John James Audubon design-build bridge; the Greenville Mississippi River Bridge between Mississippi and Arkansas; and the Louisa Bridge, the first semi-high-rise bascule bridge in Louisiana.

Carriere was a registered professional engineer in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, a past president of the Louisiana Engineering Society and state president of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He passed away in March 2006.

Reinhardt served as the Louisiana division administrator for the FHWA in the 1970s during a period of great improvement for Louisiana’s federal-aid highway system. He provided the federal approval for the building of Interstates 310 and 220. His work also resulted in Interstate 49 connecting north and south Louisiana and Interstate 55 modifications that provided Louisiana with mobility, economic development opportunities and emergency evacuation planning into the 21st century.

            Established in 1974, The Louisiana Highways and Transportation Hall of Honor is sponsored by the Louisiana Good Roads Association in conjunction with DOTD, the Louisiana Engineering Society, the Louisiana State Police, the Consulting Engineers Council and the Louisiana Associated General Contractors. 

            The Hall of Honor recognizes those individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the development and improvement of Louisiana’s transportation network. Their achievements benefit road design, construction techniques, highway safety and legislative programs.