Brater named ‘County Engineer of the Year’

Road Services Director Rick Brater holds his "County Road Engineer of the Year" plaque.
Road Services Director Rick Brater with his “County Engineer of the Year” plaque.

Road Services Division Director Rick Brater has been named the Washington State County Road Administration Board’s “County Engineer of the Year.”

He received the award at the Board’s Summer Conference in June.

Nominated by King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, Brater was recognized as a strong manager and leader who is responsible for a regional transportation system of 1,500 miles of roads and 182 bridges, and a staff of 400 people, including six maintenance divisions.

Brater, whom the Metropolitan King County Council appointed Director of Local Services’ Road Services Division in March and who has been with King County more than 17 years, was recognized in several areas:

  • Engineering Expertise: He has been the county’s engineer lead on numerous high-profile capital projects, most notably as the County Road Engineer for the award-winning, $175 million South Park Bridge project.
  • Management Skills: His leadership and trusted interpersonal relationships yield productive performances from Roads employees. He regularly makes time to meet with his staff and has established several management procedures that help his team meet project delivery deadlines.
  • Public Relations: He has built meaningful relationships with the King County Council, Executive’s Office and other department leadership, as well as public works directors and local elected officials of King County’s 39 cities and other transportation agencies. Those relationships were essential during the region-wide response to heavy snowfall and ice response earlier this year.
  • Community Activities: In addition to the South Park Bridge project, he helped guide projects with lasting community impacts such as rebuilding the Mount Si Bridge and reconstruction of a fallen portion of Middle Fork Road. He was also recognized for leading construction and repairing major connections in King County’s transportation network.

Brater has also represented King County at Washington State Association of County Engineers events. Bringing a special understanding of large county issues, he has help King County consistently meet the County Road Administration Board’s Standards of Good Practice.

“Being named Washington State County Road Administration Board’s County Engineer of the Year is a tremendous honor, and I am humbled,” Brater said. “More than anything, this recognition is reflective of the talent, dedication and professionalism of each member of the King County Road Services Division. The recognition would not be possible without them.”

“Rick is a very accomplished County engineer with an excellent statewide reputation, and this well-deserved award is a testimony to his great work and leadership,” Councilmember Lambert said. “I am thoroughly impressed by the work of Rick and the rest of the Road Services Division despite having to work with a broken state roads funding formula. Congratulations to Rick for receiving this amazing award.”

King County Local Services Director John Taylor: “As our new department continues to strive to deliver improved services to unincorporated King County, it’s clear that our Road Services Division has a tremendous leader in Rick. His expertise and knowledge of the county’s transportation network go without saying, and he has already demonstrated that he’s an effective leader. I am proud that Rick got this much-deserved honor.”