Mikkelson on Top 10 Leaders of the Year list

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SALISBURY — Dan Mikkelson, city engineer for Salisbury, has been named to the American Public Works Association national Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year.
Winners will be honored during an awards ceremony in August in Anaheim, Calif. Mikkelson also will be presented the award at the May 15 City Council meeting.
The association annually recognizes 10 outstanding public works professionals from across the U.S. and Canada for career-long dedication and service, professionalism and expertise in public works infrastructure. One of the most prestigious awards presented by the association, the Top Ten Public Works Leader award is given for excellence in public works, services and infrastructure through advancement of technology.
As Salisbury’s city engineer for the past 23 years, Mikkelson has served as the city’s liaison to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. He has been a leader coordinating land-use planning with transportation planning and has advocated for new philosophies such as context-sensitive design and multi-model planning and traffic calming.
“Dan has employed his clear understanding of sustainability issues on various subcommittees, on which he and I have served, especially stressing the importance of community walkability,” Dr. John Wear, executive director for Catawba College’s Center for the Environment, said in a press release.
Mikkelson has partnered with NCDOT for award-winning projects and served as a municipal representative to multiple NCDOT task forces. He was also appointed by the secretary of transportation to the Statewide Bicycle Committee and has served on NCDOT grant-award committees for transportation enhancements, comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian planning and safe routes to schools.
Prior to his tenure with the city, he spent five years working for Charlotte in the engineering department.
In Charlotte, he served as the task force leader to reduce a backlog of drainage studies. Under Mikkelson’s leadership, the team developed several new policies and practices to streamline the city’s storm drainage repair policy, including more direct contact with private property owners.
The team eliminated a backlog of 65 studies in a six-month period. A decade later, Mikkelson took the Charlotte lessons and applied them in Salisbury’s first Storm Drainage Incentive Grant Program.
The American Public Works Association is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 28,500 members involved in the field of public works. The association is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. and has an office in Washington, D.C. and 63 chapters in North America.