BOZEMAN – Lewis M. Chittim, a construction and highway engineer who played a notable role in the development of Montana’s interstate highways, will be posthumously inducted into the Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Helena on Wednesday, Nov. 5.
Chittim, who died in 1998, will be honored during the Montana Engineering Honors banquet, which will be held at the Red Lion Colonial Hotel. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.
“We chose Lewis Chittim because he had an outstanding career as an engineer, surveyor and administrator, and he played a historic role in developing the transportation system in our state,” said Doug Brekke, a past president of the Montana Society of Engineers.
Chittim held numerous positions with what was then called the Montana Department of Highways (MDH): He served as right of way engineer from 1959-65, construction engineer from 1965-67 and chief highway engineer 1967-72. Chittim, who was raised in Stevensville, first worked on an MDH survey crew when he was in high school.
Chittim was appointed by Gov. Tim Babcock to oversee the start of the Montana Interstate Highway System. He worked on Interstate Highway 15, which included Wolf Creek Canyon between Great Falls and Helena. During construction of Interstate 90 near Bozeman, he approved the use of concrete, in response to price gouging by asphalt contractors.
Chittim also worked on roads and bridges in Saigon, Vietnam from 1972-1975, coordinating construction and design with the U.S. Agency for International Development and local contractors. He finished his career by developing international business for Morrison-Maierle, Inc., from 1975 until 1986.
Plaques honoring the inductees are displayed in Roberts Hall at the Montana State University College of Engineering in Bozeman and online at www.mtengineers.org.
Contact: Doug Brekke, (406) 932-5400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.