Local News

Will Tolson Bring Needed Changes at NCDOT?

Posted January 14, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— There's a new man at the helm of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, but will he be able to bring needed changes?

Norris Tolson was sworn in as DOT secretary late Wednesday morning. His mission: to clean up a department that has been accused of making road decisions based on personal and political gain.

Tolson is moving from his position as Secretary of Commerce to the DOT, where he has his work cut out for him. Wednesday, he officially inherited a department that has seen more than its fair share of criticism and controversy.

Tolson was sworn in just after 11 a.m. and said he will not forget who really runs the DOT.

Tolson says his first priority is to find out exactly where the problems are. He also said he wants input from taxpayers concerning their experiences with the department. He says he will spend time with Governor Hunt while laying out his plan for the DOT.

His overall message centered around cooperation between himself, the DOT, and the public it serves.

While there has been no official word on a replacement for Tolson at the DOT, there has been talk about replacing some members of the DOT board of directors. Tolson said he had no plans to replace any of the members who have already stepped down.

Photographer:Joe Frieda