In our Houston Transportation Series: Monthly Member Feature, YPT Houston introduces one of our members who make differences in our community. This month’s feature is Jesus Cervantes of TxDOT.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I graduated in May 2014 from Texas A&M University with bachelor’s in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Transportation Engineering. In my senior year I took classes in Transportation which where Highway Design, Urban Planning for Civil Engineers, Traffic Engineering, and Pavement Design. I’m a Houston native so I know where the transportation problems are in our region.
I am currently an Engineering Assistant with TxDOT here in the Houston District and seek to obtain my professional license to practice engineering. I have always been interested in Transportation since I was young and loved when I played Sim City and focused on my city’s transportation problems and manage the problems and still do that to this day with city building games.
What are your current projects?
My current project is finishing the development of the Plan, Specification and Estimate package for US 59 in Fort Bend County. This is a reconstruction project of an existing rural highway to a freeway of Interstate standards as US 59 has the designation of Interstate 69 in Fort Bend County. I am currently in one of the roadway design groups in the Houston District and deal with many aspect of roadway design which include many different things.
How do you feel your projects are affecting mobility/transportation?
I feel that the projects I am working on improve mobility and transportation because it is improving an existing roadway that was designed on criteria that has been improved over the years from when that roadway was designed. The US 59 project I’m working on I see this from the as-built plans that were developed in the late 1960’s and built in the early 1970’s. From the existing roadway I see that we are improving the existing roadway by rebuilding to a limited access facility. The roadway is safer as we are removing the at grade intersections with existing main lanes. We are also adding another lane in each direction and full frontage roads to improve the area for future growth and development along the corridor and improve mobility.
What do you love most about what you do?
What I love about what I do is that with transportation projects the issues will never truly be fixed absolutely. There are also many challenges and constraints to every transportation project worked on and makes each project is unique. There are the issues of funding, Right of Way, Stakeholders in the project, working with other entities, and many other things. In short each project has its own unique problems and issues to be dealt with and you never know what is going to happen in each project.
I love how at TxDOT we are placed in a rotation program where we can rotate between different sections. So I am excited to rotate to construction, maintenance, planning and traffic operations. It will give experience in different sections and see where I want to advance my career.
What role does YPT play in your professional life?
YPT has a very good role in my professional life as it helps me connect to other professionals in the transportation field and not just engineers. I like how I get to meet other people in other aspects of transportation like planners, transit operations, and analysts. I like how we all talk about how to improve transportation for the future and such a great group of people to have fun with. I like how I can talk about transportation with people that understand and have knowledge in the transportation field; we can maybe come up with great ideas and solutions for the future in this group.