John Hrenak has seen many changes during his 40-year tenure with the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), but probably none as significant as improved equipment. “Both technological and equipment improvements have enhanced our ability to cover a lot of territory in a short period of time,” he said.
Since 1998 Hrenak has been the District Maintenance Engineer at the KDOT Southeast District Office in Chanute. He began his KDOT career on June 1, 1979, as a Project Engineer at the now closed area office in Fort Scott. Hrenak promoted through the ranks of Area Engineer at Fort Scott and then Staff Engineer at Chanute prior to his current post.
He administers all maintenance activities on state highways in the 17-county district. “We’ve always looked for ways to improve” and have never been content with the status quo, Hrenak said, citing advancements in pretreating highways before winter storms and more efficient methods of patching potholes. All KDOT employees have that “sense of stewardship,” he added, and want to leave the highways the same or even better than they first found them.
Hrenak lives in Fort Scott with his wife Sandy.