June 2021 - Virtual VDOT Project Development Forum


Attendee List

Presentation File

VDOT Cost Estimating Manual - DRAFT 6.1.21

Please note that all comments on the Manual are being submitted through the ACEC/MW Transportation Committee.  If you would like to comment, please email info@acecmw.org.

Our Speakers & Panelists

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) NOVA District

Nicholas Roper - Assistant District Administrator for Project Development

Nicholas J. Roper, P.E., has more than 36 years of engineering experience in the military, private, and public sectors.   Nick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute in 1982, and a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Virginia in 1996.  He joined VDOT in 2001 as the District Structure and Bridge Engineer, and in 2013 he became the Assistant District Engineer for Project Development, where he is currently responsible for development of over 200 transportation projects valued at nearly $3 billion as well the construction of nearly 30 local assistance projects worth $250 million.  Nick retired from the US Army as a Colonel following 28 years of service on active duty and in the reserves, including deployments to Kosovo and Iraq.  He resides in Occoquan, Virginia.



S. Mitchell Ball - Director of Cost Estimating Office

Mitch has extensive senior leadership experience in the field of transportation, including construction, cost estimating, design, scheduling, and claims.  He is a results oriented leader and has a proven track record of successfully managing complex projects and programs.    He joined VDOT in 2006 and since then held a number of leadership positions including, Area Construction Engineer, Project Controls Manager, Assistant Director of Transportation & Land Use, and Deputy Director of Megaprojects.  He has served in both VDOT’s Staunton and Northern Virginia Districts.  In January of 2021, he was selected to standup and lead VDOT’s Cost Estimation Office where he serves as director.
Prior to joining VDOT, Mitch had a progressive career with a large Virginia based heavy / highway construction firm wherein he worked as Engineer, Cost Estimator and was ultimately promoted to the position of Chief Engineer for the firm.  With this firm, he gained extensive private sector estimating knowledge and experience.
Notable project experience includes, Dulles Corridor Metrorail (Silver Line) Phase 1 & 2, Route 28 PPTA, I-95 HOV Lane Extension (Dale Blvd. to Mine Run), I-66 / Route 29 Gainesville Interchange, I-81 Exit 257 Mauzy Interchange, Dulles Greenway, I-95/I-495 Springfield Interchange.
Mitch holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from West Virginia University – Institute of Technology.  He is a licensed professional engineer (PE), a licensed surveyor (LS), and is certified as a design build professional (DBIA).  In 2016, he graduated from VDOT’s Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) program.  Since graduation from LEAD, he has continued to serve in the program as a mentor, assisting future cohorts.  He is an effective communicator and very much enjoys helping people, projects, and programs, reach successful results.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment

Brooke Jackson - Senior Engineer, SMART SCALE Team

Brooke has 12 years of experience in transportation and traffic operations field. Her transportation engineering background includes crash data analyses, traffic impact studies, speed limit studies, congestion mitigation studies, traffic simulation, and corridor studies. Brooke is skilled in GIS analysis and data visualization. 

Brooke has been on the SMART SCALE Team for over 6 years, half in consulting and half at OIPI, working on everything from project scoring to policy improvements. Additionally, she helped to lead the SMART SCALE like scoring for the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan and the Interstate Operations and Enhancement Program. In her free time she loves to travel and run road races, and combine them whenever possible.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment

Chad Tucker - SMART SCALE Program Manager

Chad started his career as a transportation planner in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Transportation and Mobility Planning Division (TMPD) in 1999.  Over the past 5 years he helped lead the development and implementation of the SMART SCALE prioritization process.  He currently works in the Virginia Secretary of Transportation’s Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment where he oversees the SMART SCALE program and works to improve policies and processes related to transportation planning, project development and project evaluation.

VDOT NOVA District

Maria Sinner - Assistant District Administrator for Planning and Investment

Studied Civil Engineering, Catholic University Lima-Peru
Supplemented with Construction ManagementNorthern Virginia Community College and George Mason University
Professional Engineer licensed in VA- 20 years
33 years experience (30 in VDOT) 
Experience in construction, project  development, land use, project and program management, financial management, multimodal and regional planning. 
Resides in Prince William County with husband of 33 years


VDOT NOVA District

Stephen Bates - Northern Virginia Location & Design Division Engineer

Steve Bates  is NoVA District's current Location & Design Engineer and has more than 30 years experience, including 23 with VDOT following his time with private-sector engineering firms, K&R Engineering, Wilbur Smith and Sverdrup.  He has worked on a broad range of projects in several states including Delaware, Massachusetts, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.  He is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and lives with his family in Fairfax County.


Fairfax County Department of Transportation

W. Todd Minnix - Division Chief

Mr. Minnix has over 39 years of experience in the design, construction and management of multi-modal transportation facilities. Since 2010, Mr. Minnix has been the Chief of the Transportation Design Division of the Fairfax County Dept. of Transportation, where he is responsible for the implementation of the County’s Transportation Priorities Plan (TPP) . Prior to joining Fairfax County in 2003, Mr. Minnix spent 21 years as a private sector consultant where he had the pleasure to work on various projects in at least 9 different states. He graduated from VMI in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, cum laude; is a registered Professional Engineer; and was honorably discharged from the US Army Reserve, where he attained the rank of Captain.



Keith Weakley - Senior Vice President 

Keith Weakley, PE, DBIA has over 27 years of experience in the funding, design, maintenance, and construction of transportation infrastructure.  With VDOT for  over 16 years, he served as the Staunton District Bridge Engineer  where he managed an inventory of over 3500 structures With Volkert for 10 years, Keith  serves as Senior Vice President, Mid-Atlantic region.    Keith received his Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and his Masters  in Civil Engineering from UVa.   Keith serves on the VTCA structures committee, and on the ECLC.


Our Moderator

ACEC/MW Virginia Transportation Subcommittee Chair

James Thomas, P.E. - Principal Engineer, Parsons Corporation

James Thomas, PE, is a Principal Engineer at Parsons Corporation, a global Engineering Firm specializing in Critical Infrastructure and headquartered in Centreville, Virginia. He has over 15 years of experience designing and managing transportation projects throughout the United States and Canada for State and Local clients. James is a member of ACEC/MW and currently serves as the Virginia Transportation Subcommittee Chair.