Transportation Advisory Commission
2014 Transportation Achievement Award
Presentation at the Board of Supervisors’ (November 17, 2015)
Regular Meeting By TAC Chair Jeff Parnes
Chairman Bulova and Members of the Board of Supervisors,
Each year the Fairfax County Transportation Advisory Commission has the honor of recognizing Fairfax County employees who demonstrate outstanding achievements in transportation through the Transportation Achievement Award. This year we honor Pamela Rittenhouse for her A) exceptional performance within the scope of her assigned duties, B) contributions advancing the objectives of the County Transportation Plan, and C) enhancements to the quality of transportation in Fairfax County.
Mrs. Rittenhouse is a Senior Transportation Planner in the Special Projects Division – Dulles Rail – in the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT). In this capacity, she is responsible for supporting the Silver Line Metrorail Project, the County’s top transportation priority and one of the largest transportation projects in the United States. During this past year she has been instrumental in moving the Silver Line from construction to revenue operations.
Pam worked closely with all the project stakeholders under some of the most stressful conditions. Her due diligence and attention to detail in coordinating the Phase 1 close out and Phase 2 design startup was outstanding. She worked closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Federal Highway Administration, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Metropolitan Washington Airports Authorities (MWAA), and with numerous county agencies. Pam represented the interests of the County and its residents in a commendable manner by working on some of the most difficult “behind the scenes” elements of the project; elements that mostly go unnoticed but are critical to the success of the project.
A listing of Pam’s major accomplishments over a quarter of a century would exceed my allowed time, but some of Pam’s major accomplishments include finalizing agreements between Fairfax County, MWAA, VDOT, and WMATA on real property land transfers and the allocation of maintenance responsibilities for all rail related facilities among the project partners. It took over a year to negotiate and finalize the agreements and involved numerous meetings with project partners and legal teams. Even the most minor agreement detail required an extensive amount of coordination both within and outside of the County. These critical agreements had to be in place for WMATA to accept Phase 1 of the Silver Line for revenue operations.
In addition to devoting significant effort on conducting site inspections, Pam also coordinated efforts with the Department of Public Works and Environmental Management (DPWES) and Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ). Pam identified “punch list items” and worked with MWAA on the Project’s compliance and close out of various County land use approvals, such as Special Exceptions and 2232. This required extensive field work at numerous project locations spanning the entire eleven and a half miles of Phase 1. Pam had to coordinate her work with MWAA, DPZ, and DPWES to achieve resolution on the outstanding items and create a way forward for punch list closeout.
On Phase 2 of the project, Pam worked closely with DPWES on the planning and design development of the Innovation Center and Herndon stations’ parking garages. The extensive background and experience she gathered from working on other county garage projects provided the design team a wealth of information. She has also been the “go to” person coordinating fieldwork between MWAA and the Phase 2 construction contractor. Not only was she on site for numerous field visits, but she also ensured that the right county agencies were there to fully coordinate the work.
During Pam’s over 25 years at FCDOT, her service to the County has been instrumental in advancing both the County’s transportation objectives and Transportation Plan. She has had a direct and everlasting positive impact on improving the quality of the transportation infrastructure in Fairfax County. Her efforts on transit projects and on multimodal solutions compliment FCDOT and VDOT efforts on road construction and related public street improvements.
Therefore, based on the foregoing and a unanimous decision of the Transportation Advisory Commission, it is my honor and privilege to award the 2014 Transportation Achievement Award to Pamela Rittenhouse for her outstanding achievements and dedication to transportation issues.