With long-lasting and pivotal contributions to the improvement of transportation in the Lone Star State and beyond, two Texans were inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor during a ceremony held in Austin.
On November 21, Marquis G. Goode, Jr., a 40-year employee of the Texas Highway Department (now the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT) and Louis L. Heil, the former CEO and current chairman of the board of McDonald Transit Associates in Fort Worth, were honored during induction ceremonies at the Greer Building in Austin.
“This is by far the most significant and most meaningful recognition I’ve had in my life,” Heil told the crowd gathered at the event. “I accept this award with a great deal of humility and with a huge amount of gratitude.” Heil was instrumental in bringing public transportation to Fort Worth and supervised the initiation of new public transit systems throughout the United States. Having joined the company as its vice president in 1972, he served as CEO for McDonald Transit Associates for 23 years.
Goode, who retired from the Texas Highway Department in 1986 after managing the fastest period of growth in road construction in the department’s history, also addressed the crowd in Austin. “Here in Texas, the people in transportation have all worked together. So, thanks to all of you and the part you played in the plaque that has been given to me today.” As engineer-director for the department, Goode initiated a recruiting and training program that opened doors for women and minorities.
“Our state is blessed to have an outstanding transportation system that has helped to attract economic growth and offered Texans a high quality of life,” Dennis Christiansen, Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) director and chair of the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor, said at the ceremony. “The individuals we are recognizing today clearly deserve this honor.”
The Texas Transportation Hall of Honor was established in 2000 by TTI. Inductees are honored with a plaque that bears their likenesses and is on permanent display in College Station.