David Nichols, P.E., became Director of the Missouri Department of Transportation on April 2, 2013, after serving as Chief Engineer for the previous two years. Prior to that, he served 11 years as the department’s first Director of Program Delivery.
Nichols began his MoDOT career in 1984. During the past 29 years he served in a variety of leadership roles, including district engineer for the department’s Northwest District headquartered in St. Joseph. He also worked in MoDOT’s Kansas City District.
Nichols is recognized for his visionary leadership in implementing cost-saving measures and producing results for Missourians. Under his leadership, MoDOT saved millions of dollars by bringing innovation and competition to the program delivery process. On average, MoDOT awarded projects 10 percent under budget since 2008, and MoDOT’s on-time performance record steadily climbed. In 2012, 95 percent of MoDOT projects were completed either on or ahead of schedule.
Nichols led the development of Missouri’s first design-build legislation in 2002, and the deployment of that process as MoDOT delivered The New I-64, kcICON and Safe & Sound projects. The projects were so successful that the Missouri General Assembly granted expanded opportunities for design-build in Missouri. It is now being used to deliver the Boone Bridge and final phase of the Page Avenue Extension in the St. Louis District, and the Manchester Bridge in the Kansas City District.
Nichols has also been a champion of diversity both at MoDOT and within the state’s contracting community. He is especially passionate about safety for MoDOT workers and construction partners and the motoring public.
A 1982 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering.
He is active in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the National Society of Professional Engineers. The University of Missouri Civil Engineering Academy honored him as a member of its distinguished alumni.
Nichols and his wife Leslie have one daughter, Ashley.