Director of transportation, John McCracken retires

Mr. R. John McCracken, Director of Transportation for Chesterfield County, retired earlier this week. Mr. McCracken worked in the county’s transportation department for 29 years.  

McCracken is a Professional Engineer and was hired by Chesterfield in 1984, and he has been the only director of the department since it was formed in 1984.

McCracken developed transportation standards and policies that guide development today to ensure that adequate roadway improvements are provided to accommodate future growth, according to a resolution presented to McCracken on November 20.

McCracken, experienced a bittersweet send off as his staff and Supervisor kidded him and he them throughout his recognition.

“Is he going to come home and run the household now?” asked Dorothy Jaeckle, Bermuda District Supervisor and Board Chairman, of McCracken’s wife.

“I think about all the times I’d come in and ask you to do such and such and you would say ‘Well, Ms. Jaeckle, the way I see it is… but you can do anything that you want.’” Jaeckle said. “And then I would say, but maybe we can…and he would say, ‘well the way I see it is…’” Jaeckle added that McCracken was very easy to work with.

He also developed the first countywide comprehensive Thoroughfare Plan adopted by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors in 1989.

McCracken earned the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers’ prestigious Crozet Award; implemented innovative programs and approaches to deliver projects before their completion date.

Aggressively seeking and securing millions of dollars from various funding sources for improvements to the county’s transportation system, Mr. McCracken played an instrumental role in the development and improvements to limited access roadways in the county, including Powhite Parkway, Route 288 and I-295, and the widening of major roadways including Route 10, Route 360, Chippenham Parkway, Hopkins Road, Genito Road, Courthouse Road, Woolridge Road and Robious Road, allowing our residents, workers and visitors to travel throughout the county with minimal travel delay.

According to the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors resolution, McCracken promoted economic development in the county with his leadership on projects such as the reconstruction of the I-95/Walthall Interchange, and the construction of the I-295/Meadowville Interchange, and roadways in industrial parks including the Airport Industrial Park, Ruffin Mill Industrial Park, River’s Bend Industrial Park, and Meadowville Technology Park.

“John was a football player in high school at Lebanon and I went to school in Buchannan County and we called them Lebanon team city boys,” said Matoaca District Supervisor Steve Elswick. “But every time they would come to Buchanan County they’d get a little whuppin.”

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