From the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to maintaining highways, he spent more than four decades on the roads.
Greg Selstead (’85 Const. Mgmt., ’90 MS Civ. Eng.) retired after more than 40 years with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), but he’s still working to make a difference.
It began as he became an engineering technician in 1982, and then as a transportation engineer on the I-90 completion project in early 1986. Following these first years in construction and then a master’s degree in civil engineering, Selstead moved on to his next phase.
WSDOT’s next roles took him to north-central Washington for design and planning. Then, in 1997, Selstead was promoted to transportation system planning manager at the Olympia headquarters. He helped publish the agency’s 20-year Washington Transportation Plan before becoming program management engineer in 2001 and later director of project reporting and control.
Selstead successfully took on the challenge of toll operations director on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge. He retired from WSDOT after years as assistant state maintenance engineer, a role he says he relished as he oversaw day-to-day operations of over 21,000 miles of highway and 3,377 bridges. Selstead was a strong proponent for maintenance and leadership training, even collaborating to create curriculum for an interstate maintenance leadership academy for the National Highway Institute.
In 2010, Selstead was named the first maintenance representative to the WSDOT Memorial Foundation. Over the next 13 years in several leadership roles and as emeritus director, he helped establish the scholarship program for the surviving spouses and children of fallen WSDOT workers. He also played a key role in creating and delivering the WSDOT Worker Memorial Event each spring. More recently, Selstead was instrumental in developing the agency’s peer support program.
He received the WSDOT Leadership in Management Award in 2020. Selstead has presented at the Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC, and served in interstate transportation organizations—including leadership on the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ subcommittee on maintenance.
Selstead says he hopes that he made a difference in the lives of those he worked with and their families. He lives with his wife, Mary (’85 Hum. Dev.), in Olympia, and they have two adult children, Kyle and Kelsey (’15 Comm.). He will continue to help others in his work with immigrants and refugees through their nonprofit organization, ImRoads.