NORTH FORSYTH — Family members and state dignitaries gathered alongside a well-traveled corridor in Forsyth County over the weekend to honor a man who helped pave the way for many of Georgia’s major thoroughfares.
Hwy. 306, also known as Keith Bridge Road, from Ga. 400 to Hwy. 53 has been officially named Frank L. Danchetz Highway.
Danchetz, a longtime DOT official and Forsyth County resident, died in January at age 66.
Sponsored by state Sen. Steve Gooch, whose District 51 includes Forsyth’s northeast corner, Senate Resolution 126 recognized Danchetz’s impact on the state highway system.
In a statement, Gooch noted how Danchetz “focused on improving safety and mobility for Georgians through his 34-year career” with the agency.
“His last 10 years as chief engineer, Frank signed off on every set of plans to upgrade Georgia’s interstates and state routes while responsible for management of GDOT’s preconstruction, engineering, programming and operations,” Gooch said. “He also represented Georgia on [some] national committees.”
During the ceremony Saturday Danchetz’s widow, Dorothy, shared how her husband’s family had immigrated to the U.S. during the Hungarian Revolution.
“Frank Danchetz grew up to become a civil engineer who loved his profession, the state of Georgia, his co-workers and the people he served. His family stands here today for him, proud and grateful,” she said.
Danchetz earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and dedicated his career to the DOT, according to SR 126, previously serving in offices such as environment and locations and urban design.
According to a news release, he was a professional mentor to many of the senior managers who currently lead the state department and was “instrumental in creating relationships for the department as a liaison to federal, state and local legislators for project information.”
DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said in a statement that Danchetz “was an engineer’s engineer, seeing both the art and science of civil engineering.”
“It is ironic to name just one road for Frank because his work improved every interstate and state route in Georgia,” McMurry said. “Our mobility today is because of Frank Danchetz. We are moving forward by building on his work. He led us in word and deed.”
Danchetz was recognized with numerous honors and accolades, including the Thomas M. MacDonald Memorial Award for “continuous outstanding service over an extended period to the art and science of highway engineering.”
His “leadership and guidance were instrumental to [the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials], where he served as vice-chairman for the Standing Committee on Highways; as a member of the Standing Committee on Research and the Asset Management Task Force; and held leadership positions on the Special Committee on Environment, Archeology and Historic Preservation; the Standing Committee on Environment; and the National Transportation Product Evaluation Program.”