Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Q&A CHARLES BALDWIN; Resigning FDOT Leader Sees Good Future for Area

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Q&A CHARLES BALDWIN; Resigning FDOT Leader Sees Good Future for Area

Article excerpt

Byline: LARRY HANNAN

Charles Baldwin has been responsible for a lot of the orange barrels now visible on Jacksonville roadways.

Baldwin, 68, the district secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation in Northeast Florida since June 2005, has spent the past four years overseeing most of the major construction projects in Jacksonville. He has been involved in construction on the interchanges at Interstates 10/95 and Butler Boulevard/Florida 9A, on Cecil Commerce Parkway and almost every other major state project.

He also has been the state's point man in efforts behind the First Coast Outer Beltway. Construction is expected to begin in the next year or so on that 46.5-mile project, which connects Interstate 10 in Duval County with Interstate 95 in St. Johns County.

Next week, Baldwin steps down from his job. It will take several months to find a replacement for an interim secretary.

The Times-Union talked with Baldwin about his tenure at FDOT, and the future of transportation on the First Coast.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO RESIGN NOW?

I committed to two years of service when I accepted this job and after four years it seems like it's time for a change. I don't know what I'm going to do next, I intend to remain in the Lake City area (where the main FDOT office is in Northeast Florida) and remain involved in transportation for the next few years.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS?

I'm pleased that the performance of this district has gotten much better. We've done a good job of planning ahead, and sticking with our plans. When we say a project will begin next year, it happens.

I'm also happy that we're finally getting the First Coast Outer Beltway off the ground. That's a project that's going to be very important to this area because it will keep cars out of the downtown Jacksonville area, and provide another north-south road that can offset Interstate 95 and Interstate 295. …

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