Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


MnDOT’s big bridge and road engineer Jon Chiglo leaves for the private sector

Chiglo was the go-to guy on rebuilding the 35W bridge after its collapse and has been working on the controversial St. Croix River bridge.

The name Jon Chiglo might not be well-known to Minnesota motorists, but the projects he’s directed for the state Department of Transportation sure are:

  • The $232 million U.S. 52 design-build project in Rochester
  • The $238 million U.S. 212 expansion project in the southwest metro
  • Rebuilding the 35W bridge after its collapse in 2007
  • The controversial St. Croix River bridge, now going up near Stillwater

Now, after 17 years with the state, Chiglo is leaving MnDOT to become vice president of transportation and structural engineering at WSB & Associates, a civil engineering and design firm based in Golden Valley, the Pioneer Press reports.

Article continues after advertisement

Deputy MnDOT Commissioner Sue Mulvihill told the paper that Chiglo is an “out-of-the-box thinker … an outstanding person to work with.”

WSB, the company he’s going to, worked on the I-35W bridge reconstruction in Minneapolis, the new Lyndale Avenue bridge in Richfield, and construction of the Interstate 35E MnPASS system, which is underway in St. Paul, the story said.

One reason for leaving: his salary at MnDOT is $125,572, and capped at $130,000, much lower than the going rate in the private sector. That’s a problem in retaining state employees, he told the paper:

“I do think that the leaders of our state have to think strongly about how they compensate state employees. I think it’s at significant risk of losing the talent and leadership of these organizations. It’s not a rub on the governor or anybody in particular. It’s something that we really have to think hard about if we want to have good leaders managing our systems and our infrastructure — we’re going to have to compensate them.”