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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission elected Robert Brinkmann as its new chairman Thursday, effective immediately.

A Republican, Brinkmann was appointed to the commission in 2017 by then-Gov. Eric Greitens. He has more than 50 years of experience in the construction industry in various roles, including as CEO of Brinkmann Constructors, which he founded in 1984. He also serves on the board for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Foundation, among other roles.

“I’ve been on [the commission] for four years. It’s an honor to even be on the commission, and then to be the chairman is a special honor,” Brinkmann told The Missouri Times.

Brinkmann previously chaired the Missouri University of Science and Technology board. He pointed to unfunded needs, such as bridges and minor roads with problems, and employee attrition as issues transportation faces in Missouri.

Brinkmann will replace Michael Waters, who touted the passage of the first motor fuel tax increase in nearly two decades this session as one of the most important developments of his one-year term.

“It has been my great honor to serve as chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for the past year,” Waters said. “I look forward to continuing my work on the commission under Mr. Brinkmann’s leadership as the new chairman and wish him well as he takes on this new role.”

Waters was appointed to the commission by then-Gov. Jay Nixon in 2015 and also chairs the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association.

John Briscoe will continue to serve as the vice-chair, a role he has occupied since October 2020. He has served on the commission since 2015 and practices law in New London and Hannibal.

The bipartisan commission oversees the Missouri Department of Transportation in its efforts to build and maintain the state’s infrastructure.

When asked if there was anything, in particular, he wanted Missourians to know about him, Brinkmann had a special message: “Buckle up and phones down!”

Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.

Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.

Contact Cameron at cameron@themissouritimes.com.

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