kondelisMike Kondelis sees more woodworking and family time in his very near future. The soon-to-be retired Arizona Department of Transporation (ADOT) Kingman District engineer plans to enjoy his favorite hobby, travel a bit with his wife Ione and spend lots of time together with their grandchildren.

Kondelis moved to Kingman in 1996 to manage the Mineral Park Mine after working at the copper mine in Bagdad. After 25 years in the mining industry, he began a dozen year run with ADOT in 2003.

“It’s been a fast 12 years here. It’s unbelievable that it’s gone by,” Kondelis said. While aspects of management can be much the same from job to job, he said he’s enjoyed the diversity of his public transportation administrative experience, particularly the partnerships.

“I’ve been able to work really closely with the officials from the different cities—Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Kingman and Mohave County—we’ve had great relationships,” Kondelis said.

That Kondelis is a team player is something not lost on his peer professionals, including Mohave County Administrator Mike Hendrix.

“He’s reasonable. You can talk to him. He’s accessible. He’s responsive. And he’s always been a problem solver. He’s been a true partner for Mohave County,” Hendrix said of Kondelis. “He’s just a fine individual, very talented, community oriented and he’s going to be sorely missed.”

ADOT Deputy Director for Transportation/State Engineer Dallas Hammit said Kondelis has served with a “can-do” attitude in the face of difficult challenges.

“Mike will truly be missed, but he left his mark on this agency as he spearheaded safety improvements along the US 93 corridor, including the Kingman District’s largest construction project to date with the completion of the widening project from milepost 2-17 leading to the new Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at the Hoover Dam,” Hammit said.

Kondelis said he is indeed proud of his involvement in the completion of that near $80-million dollar campaign and other efforts to widen US 93 in south Mohave County leading to Wickenburg. He prepares to exit his position disappointed that funding shortfalls leave other important infrastructure improvements on the drawing board.

“We have so many needs. We’ve identified what we want to do. We’ve got projects lined up. We just can’t get the money to do them, Kondelis said. “That’s what’s really frustrating.”

Kondelis is keenly aware that citizens are also frustrated that critical needs are not being met. But he said that’s not for any lack of talent and commitment from dedicated staff members.

“We’re doing the very best we can with what we have. Our resources are continually being cut, not just on the construction side but on the maintenance too. People don’t realize how much we do with so few people,” Kondelis said. “We probably have in the neighborhood of 36 people that take care of all the roads in this district. We measure by lane miles. We have almost 3,000 lane miles and we have 36 people taking care of that. That’s all of Havasu, Bullhead City, Kingman, I-40, State Route 68. It’s a huge job.”

Following in the footsteps of Debra Brisk, Sam Elters and previous predecessors, Kondelis is retiring as the very last Kingman District ADOT Engineer. Under a just-implemented statewide redistricting, the Kingman District has merged with the western portion of the Prescott District and will be administered by Alvin Stump, who had previously served as ADOT’S Prescott District Engineer.

Kondelis’ last day with ADOT is October 14.