Ada County Highway District

ACHD News Blog Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Driving Quality Transportation for 50 Years

With a reflective road marker, a toy vacuum truck, and a 30-year-old bottle of scotch, the Ada County Highway District marked half a century of serving roads in the area.

Current and past employees gathered at ACHD headquarters for the agency's 50th anniversary celebration.

The District marked the occasion by looking forward to the next 50 years. The maintenance department created a time capsule that will be sealed until 2071.

Inside the capsule are tokens from the current era. Items inside include a toy vacuum truck, a reflective road marker, an ACHD mask, an iPhone, and photos of past and current projects.

The occasion was also marked with a cake cutting by ACHD's most senior and newest employees. Ron Sperl, who has served the District for 49 years, and Avery Foerster, former intern and working in her first week as a full-time employee cut the cake with a sword.Photograph of Time Capsule items

"This is the best that the highway district has ever been," said Ron Sperl, who has been with ACHD for more than 49 years and is the agency's lead sign maker.

"I'm just grateful to have ACHD as my first real full-time job," said Avery Foerster, who started her new job as a communications specialist on Monday. "I'm excited to see where ACHD takes me."

Current employees also received a throwback hat that pays homage to a cap worn in many old photos of ACHD workers. The bright orange trucker hat proudly displays the agency's logo from the 1980's. Guests received a commemorative challenge coin.

Photograph of ACHD vintage hats and commemorative challenge coin photographAda County Highway District Director Bruce Wong kicked off the ceremony by thanking current and former team members.

"All of you are the inspiration of ACHD yesterday, ACHD today, and the ACHD of tomorrow," Director Wong said. "It has been and continues to be my honor to lead this amazing team."

"We were created as the result of an unselfish public outcry concerning the quality of local government services including transportation infrastructure," said Commissioner Kent Goldthorpe, ACHD's current commission president. "There are none others like us, which is unfortunate because there certainly ought to be."

"50 years ago we had a little city and some really tiny towns. And today we are a thriving urban area with urban challenges. So the next 50 years are going to look very, very different." said Commissioner Jim Hansen.

"Thank you all so much for everything you do, showing up to work every single day, the commitment that you have for maintaining and improving our roadways," Commissioner Alexis Pickering said to employees. "You are best thing about ACHD."

"It's a great place to work, there's a lot of good people here," said Mike Gossi, Crew Chief at the Adams Mechanic Shop. Gossi has spent 40 years at ACHD, and seen the expansion in employees and more modern equipment. "It's grown by leaps and bounds," he said.

The Ada County Highway District was approved by voters in 1971, creating a new agency to oversee the county's roads. The agency was formed in response to inconsistent roads and road funding in Ada County. The Idaho Legislature approved the formation of the new agency during the next legislative session.

The Ada County Highway District is the first, and currently the only county-wide highway district in Idaho.


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