Charleston, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Department of Transportation mourns after receiving news that former Transportation Secretary Fred VanKirk has passed away at age 87.
VanKirk served as Commissioner of Highways and Secretary of Transportation under former governors Gaston Caperton and Bob Wise.VanKirk served for more than 41 years in West Virginia’s transportation sector.
After earning a degree in engineering from West Virginia University in 1962, working in the Highway Department’s planning and engineering fields before becoming the State Highway Engineer in the early 1980s.
In 1989, Governor Gaston Caperton named him West Virginia Commissioner of Highways, and in 1995, VanKirk took on an additional role as Secretary of Transportation.
He later served in this dual capacity under Governor Bob Wise from 2001-2005.
In his role as West Virginia’s lead highway official, VanKirk worked closely with Senator Robert C. Byrd (R-WV) on the planning, development, and funding of West Virginia’s transportation network.