The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has selected Kevin Keith as Director of the Missouri Department of Transportation. The commission had said they were looking with someone with experience, and apparently they found that internally.

Kevin Keith presents report to commission just before Rahn (background, left) resigns.

Keith has served as the department’s interim director since April and has been chief engineer of MoDOT for nine years — he has been with the department for more than 25 years.

“Kevin Keith is a proven leader,” says MHTC Chairman Rudy Farber. “He has been instrumental in the dramatic improvement of MoDOT and has been recognized for his innovative leadership at the national level. We have full confidence in his ability to tackle the significant transportation challenges Missouri faces in the coming years.”

Among Keith’s accomplishments, he is nationally recognized for his innovative efforts implementing “Practical Design” — what MoDot calls “a no-frills approach enabling MoDOT to satisfy customer needs while saving money to put toward more transportation improvements.” “Practical Design has saved Missouri taxpayers more than $1 billion and has been adopted in numerous other states,” the commission said in a statement just released.

Before becoming chief engineer, he served as transportation planning director and, prior to that, as district engineer for MoDOT’s Northwest District headquartered in St. Joseph. He has also worked in Branson, St. Louis and Chillicothe.

He replaces Pete Rahn, who resigned to take a different position in Arizona and is now consulting for a private firm.