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DOT honors longtime Johnston maintenance engineer

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SELMA — A longtime N.C. Department of Transportation employee who retired last year was recognized Thursday for his service to Johnston County.

Doug Williams, who retired as the department’s maintenance engineer for Johnston County, received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for a career that included helping the people of Johnston County recover from hurricanes and snowstorms. In 2016, Williams continued to work through the crisis of Hurricane Matthew, even though the storm’s floodwaters destroyed his home.

The state’s transportation secretary, Jim Trogdon, presented the award, which is the state’s highest civilian honor.

“There was never a problem that you wouldn’t overcome to be here for the folks of Johnston County, and that means a whole lot to everyone here,” said Trogdon.

He shook hands with a beaming Williams, 53, who hails from the Four Oaks area.

“I greatly appreciate everything for all that you have done,” said Williams.

Joining the men at the department’s Johnston County maintenance yard outside Selma were Durwood Stephenson, who leads the U.S. 70 Corridor Commission, Division 4 Engineer Ronnie Keeter and the NCDOT’s chief engineer, Tim Little.

Little also presented Williams with the department’s Road Gang award to recognize his 35-year career and the respect he commanded from his employees. Since his retirement, Williams has come back to work for the NCDOT doing similar maintenance work as a consultant.