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New highway engineer preps for first winter in Cook County

With winters that can last for more than half of the year and a short window for construction and other projects, the Cook County Highway Department staff are rarely lacking for important tasks or goals that need to be accomplished.

This is a reality Robbie Hass, the new Cook County highway engineer, understands with high degrees of certainty.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Hass recently told WTIP.

Hass has been on the job since late summer 2020, stepping in after former Highway Engineer Krysten Foster left to take a job with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Hass is born and raised in Minnesota, having spent most of his life in the Twin Cities region. He arrived to Cook County following a brief stint out East, working for the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Already active with his new post in Cook County, Hass shared information with the county board during a committee of the whole meeting Sept. 15 regarding a 10-year road and bridge transportation plan. Following that meeting, the county extended a public comment period on the plan for 30 days.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Hass about his vision for the Cook County Highway Department and what brought him to the North Shore region.