Charles Baker has worked on the state highways in all kinds of adverse weather events, including tornadoes and snowstorms. He and his crew at the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) Erie subarea shop have also dealt with heavy rains and major flooding – including a flood that destroyed the office, which was subsequently rebuilt – during Baker’s years with the agency.
Baker, who is supervisor at the Erie office, has achieved a career milestone and is celebrating 40 years of service to KDOT in May 2019. Beginning work as an equipment operator at Erie in May 1979, he was promoted to supervisor in 2006. The seven-member Erie shop performs operations such as fixing potholes, repairing signs and guardrail, mowing right-of-way, and blading shoulders on the state highway system in the area.
During winter months the removal of snow and ice from the highways is a high priority. “After a snowstorm there is the joy and gratitude you feel that no one got hurt,” said Baker. “We got the job done and there were no accidents.”
Baker lives in Hepler with his wife Janice. On April 28 the couple will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They have two children and four grandchildren.