Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Executive Advisor for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project
A professional engineer, Gary Valentine is no stranger to multi-billion-dollar bridge projects. He served as the project manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on the $2.8 billion Ohio River Bridges Project. Completed in 2016, the project included the construction of two new bridges and the renovation of a third between Louisville, Kentucky, and its Indiana suburbs.
“What I do now is take what I learned from that experience and help our project team with other major projects like the Brent Spence Bridge,” Valentine said. “But there’s only one Brent Spence Bridge Corridor (BSBC) project.”
As KYTC’s executive advisor on the BSBC, Valentine sees his role as that of a troubleshooter, assisting the Cabinet’s project managers as they navigate between what he calls the policy side and the technical side to ensure that the project is moving forward.
If there’s one thing Valentine has learned in his 33 years with KYTC, it’s that the hardest part about finishing the largest projects is getting them started. These days, once dirt starts turning, Valentine takes a step back and watches the Cabinet’s talented teams execute and deliver.
“I don’t think people realize all of the planning that goes into something this massive,” Valentine says. “Not a lot of people understand it’s a pretty heavy lift to get something started, and that’s where my skill set comes in. I actually help to get things started, and then I get out of the way and let others do their jobs.”
The BSBC is Valentine’s first experience working with Ohio. But he’s no stranger to bi-state cooperation, having worked with the Indiana Department of Transportation on three separate projects, including the Ohio River Bridges Project.
“Ohio is just as positive as Indiana,” Valentine said. “The relationship’s great. We work well together and we’re all on the same team and same page.”
Valentine didn’t always picture himself pursuing a career in engineering. His dream coming out of high school was to become a math teacher and a basketball coach.
“Basketball was my passion then” Valentine recalls. “Unfortunately, not too many 5’8” guys are in the NBA or play college ball.”
Instead of playing for a blueblood college program, he went to school at the home of one, earning his degree from the University of Kentucky.
In his spare time, Valentine is an avid golfer. His favorite courses are along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama.