Cass County Native Named TxDOT’s Chief Engineer


The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) would like to announce that Linden native and longtime resident of Atlanta, Texas, Lance W. Simmons, P.E., has been appointed as the agency’s Chief Engineer, effective July 1, 2022.

In his new role, Simmons, a 28-year TxDOT veteran, will direct and coordinate the department’s statewide engineering and district operations to ensure the state’s transportation system is built and operates in a safe, efficient and effective manner. “It is a great honor to be named to the position of Chief Engineer for this great agency. I look forward to working with our districts as we continue to move forward with projects to maintain and enhance the safety of Texas state highways,” he said.

Simmons started his career with TxDOT as a summer hire in Atlanta in the early 1990s. As a Terry Scholar at Texas A&M University, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1994. Then, he began working full-time in the Atlanta District’s Design Office. He also worked in advance planning and traffic. Simmons then served as the Atlanta District’s Bridge/Special Projects Engineer from 2001 to 2009. During that time, he oversaw the development of a $151 million construction project on Interstate 30 through Texarkana. The project filled gaps in the frontage road system, converted the frontage roads to one-way, and relocated roadways under overpasses to move traffic more smoothly and efficiently.

In 2010, Simmons was selected as the Atlanta District’s Director of Operations. During this time, he was honored with the Luther DeBerry Award, which is presented to TxDOT employees who show dedication, innovation and performance excellence in the field of transportation. The award is administered by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. It was noted that Simmons could be found working around the clock during emergency weather events and served as a mentor for many young engineers. “I have been blessed to work with many wonderful people in TxDOT who were generous enough to share their knowledge with me. It’s now my turn to provide insight and guidance that I have learned over the years,” he said.

In 2015, Simmons was named the District Engineer in TxDOT’s Bryan District. While there, he oversaw the planning, design, building, operation and maintenance of the state transportation system for that 10-county district. In 2021, he was named TxDOT’s Director of Engineering & Safety Operations in Austin. In that role, Simmons supervised and coordinated the agency’s engineering operations under the direction of the Chief Engineer. He will continue to serve as the Director of Engineering and Safety Operations until a replacement is named.

Simmons and his wife of 30 years, Deanne, have two children, Parker, 24, and Alyssa, 22, both graduates of Texas A&M University. For more information, contact Atlanta District Public Information Officer Heather Deaton at or (903) 799-1306.

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