The Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure announced Friday the addition of a chief engineer to its leadership team as assistant director.
Brad Freeze — previously the director of the traffic operations division at the Tennessee Department of Transportation — now takes his talents to the newly established NDOT to serve as assistant director starting on Nov. 1. In the more local role, he will pivot to strategic leadership to communicate with Mayor John Cooper’s office and Metro Council on the administration's transportation plan. He will occupy the highest permanent position in the agency under Faye DiMassimo, a senior adviser to Cooper who took the helm as NDOT’s interim director in August.
“A key cornerstone in the Cooper Administration’s work to create a Metro Nashville for everyone has been the transportation and infrastructure focus with a new transportation plan and department,” DiMassimo said in a release. “The success of standing up the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure relies upon both the talents of existing staff as well as these key additions. Certainly, the addition of Brad Freeze as NDOT’s Chief Engineer will deeply strengthen our team and our performance.”
Freeze comes with 18 years of local transportation management and development experience, the last half of which have seen him create TDOT’s traffic operations division, which maximizes the state’s capacity for existing transportation infrastructure.
Recently, he has been a vocal point man for TDOT’s smart infrastructure efforts on Interstates 24 and 40, which include federally assisted MOTION, smart corridor and smart fiber projects.
He oversees TDOT’s Transportation Management Program, its four regional traffic management centers and the department’s HELP Program. In this role, he also oversees the State Traffic Engineer Office, and in his previous role, he oversaw the development of the Intelligent Transportation Systems and Traffic Signal Design projects.
“I’m excited to welcome Brad Freeze, a Nashville native, as NDOT’s Chief Engineer,” Mayor Cooper said in the release. “Nashville is a city on the rise — and, in a city on the rise, people must be able to walk, bike, drive, and ride public transit, easily and safely. With nearly two decades of experience in transportation and traffic management, I’m confident that Brad has the expertise that NDOT needs to keep every Nashvillian on the move.”
Metro Council adopted Cooper’s transportation plan in December 2020 with $15 million between state and federal funding to execute it. Over a third of that was allocated to turning what was the Public Works Department into NDOT with considerable doubts from councilmembers, and those funds covered 42 new transportation jobs. Transportation was also one of the major emphases of Cooper’s State of Metro address in April, in which he committed to expediting sidewalk construction times by 50 percent at 20 percent lower costs within 12 months of NDOT’s establishment.
Freeze also chairs the Technical Advisory Committee at the National Operations Center of Excellence — a body created via partnership between the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. As chairperson, he leads NOCoE’s efforts to streamline safety procedures and technology for the United States’ transportation systems.
“I’m excited to join the NDOT team during this important time for the City of Nashville. Having an efficient and equitable transportation system is vital to the well-being of the citizens of Middle Tennessee and the continued success of the city,” Freeze said. “I am honored to be involved in delivering on the initiatives and projects included in Mayor Cooper’s Metro Nashville Transportation Plan.”
Freeze is a licensed engineer with a B.S. degree in engineering from Tennessee Tech and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee.