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William S. Ritchie, Jr.

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William S. Ritchie, Jr., graduated with a BS in civil engineering from West Virginia University in 1951. He began his engineering career in 1950 as a foreman with Boso & Ritchie of Ravenswood.

Boso & Ritchie operated as a highway and heavy contractor working on many of the first interstate highways and airports in West Virginia.

Ritchie worked with Boso & Ritchie as general manager until 1968, when he moved on to take the job as Commissioner of Highways for the State of West Virginia.

During his first term as commissioner, the Department of Highways was responsible for the planning, design and construction of more than 300 miles of interstate highways and more than 600 miles of state and local service roads and bridges.

Engineering New Record honored Ritchie as the runner-up for Man of the Year in 1977. He was elected president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in 1975.He also served as president of the Associated General Contractors of West Virginia during this time.

Ritchie left the State Highway Department in 1977 to become the vice president of operations for Hobet Mining in West Virginia. He became the president in 1978 and senior vice president of operations for Ashland Coal in 1979.

During his tenure, Hobet Mining developed the first 72-yard capacity drag-line/shovel operational mine in West Virginia. Ritchie was with Hobet until he rejoined the Department of Highways in 1985.

Once again, Ritchie stepped into the Department of Highways as commissioner.

During his last term, the department was responsible for seeing the finalization of the interstate system in West Virginia with the completion of Interstate 64 the New River Gorge Bridge.

During his second term, Ritchie continued to serve on the executive committee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the West Virginia Turnpike Commission.

Ritchie completed his career in 1989 and has enjoyed his retirement since that time.