Thomas Lyden, P.E., PMP Civil Engineer & Highway Engineering Expert

Thomas Lyden, Civil Engineer & Highway Engineering Expert

Thomas Lyden is a civil engineer with an impressive background covering the entire lifecycle of highway infrastructure. Through his nearly 40 years of professional experience, Thomas has conducted traffic studies to evaluate the need for and safety of new and existing roadway systems, conceptually designed roadways and intersections, administered new construction and maintenance projects, and also oversaw maintenance operations for winter weather, vegetation growth, and infrastructure conditions. Thomas has performed these duties from the perspectives of a consulting engineer as well as a Department of Transportation engineer. As an employee at Robson Forensic, Thomas applies his expertise to expert witness investigations involving the design, construction, and maintenance of roadways and transportation infrastructure.

Prior to joining Robson Forensic, Thomas was employed for 31 years by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Throughout his tenure as an ODOT employee, Thomas held various positions involving traffic engineering, maintenance operations, transportation planning, and project management. In his later roles with the Department of Transportation, Thomas established the training programs for winter roadway management, developed maintenance standards and oversaw routine maintenance activities involving pavement condition, guardrails, signs, pavement markings, and pavement drop-offs. In earlier roles, Thomas was responsible for analyzing pavement, bridge, traffic, and safety data to identify needed improvements. His experience includes the conceptual design, implementation, and construction of roadways, intersections, and other infrastructure projects.

The comprehensive nature of Thomas' experience provides unique insight related to the design, construction, and operations of roadways and transportation infrastructure. Thomas is licensed as a Professional Engineer in more than a dozen states. He earned his degree in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati and later went on to earn his MBA from Ohio State.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.


2018 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving the design, construction and maintenance of roadways, including paving, drainage, roadway safety, maintenance of traffic, snow and ice control, maintenance standards, traffic control devices, access management plans, safety studies, traffic impact studies, highway access permits and failure analysis.

Ohio Department of Transportation

1993 to 2018
Administrator – Maintenance Operations 2012 to 2018

Oversaw all aspects of statewide maintenance operations and special hauling permit sections. Responsible for supporting and monitoring 12 district offices and 88 counties in carrying out routine maintenance activities. Supervised the development of 35 service and engineering material contracts including rock salt, PNS approved liquid deicers, guardrail end treatments, precast concrete catch basins, risers, and grates for highway maintenance use including developing specifications, evaluating products, and making recommendations for the approved products list. Monitored county and district work activities and labor, equipment, and material use, cost, and productivity. Evaluated maintenance performance and ensure adherence to construction standards. Provided liaison to 12 district highway management administrators. Responsible for the development of maintenance standards published as the Ohio Maintenance Operations Manual. Oversaw maintenance quality assurance performance program for routine maintenance activities including pavement condition, guardrail/barrier, signs, pavement markings, and pavement drop-offs. Provided guidance and evaluated maintenance of traffic work zones. Assessed the feasibility and soundness of designs, tests, and products including conducting field investigations and evaluating new products for statewide use including temporary portable rumble strips. Evaluated salt storage structures including capacity and compliance with MS4 storage standards. Provided guidance on environmental compliance including proper solid waste disposal methods for street sweeping operations and ditch spoils. Co-developed and provided training in the inventory, inspection, and maintenance of post-construction stormwater best management practices. Co-developed a general permit with the Ohio EPA authorizing discharges for the purposes of bridge cleaning operations. Provided support in emergency management operations including Toledo water emergency and various preparedness exercises. ODOT representative to the Ohio Utility Protection Service (Ohio811). Served as a technical liaison to research projects including GPS/AVL for snow and ice operations and salt procurement studies. Serve as research paper reviewer for the Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on Maintenance and Operations Management and Standing Committee on Winter Maintenance. Developed maintenance manager training in planning, safety, labor relations, leadership, and snow and ice control. Oversaw special hauling permits averaging 320,000 annual permits generating $35 million in annual revenue for overweight/oversize vehicles in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code chapters 5577 and 4513.

Provided technical expertise on maintenance methods and operations. Served as maintenance engineering expert and provide agency response to court of claims cases.

Construction Cost Supervisor 2009-2012
Responsible for the preparation of the Engineer’s Estimates for all transportation construction projects ranging in complexity from $50,000 to $400 million. Construction program averaged 750 projects valued at $1.5 billion dollars/year. Applied design and construction engineering principles to interpret construction plans and identify plan errors that may be detrimental to the final project cost. Oversaw estimate reviews and identified and resolved issues with the construction plans, estimate, and bids. Analyzed contractor bids to identify mathematically and materially unbalanced bids, front-end loaded bids, bid rigging, price fixing, and plan error exploitation. Developed, implemented, monitored, and evaluated policies, procedures, and cost estimating methods. Involved in pre-award discussion with ODOT management, legal counsel, and ODOT districts, as well as preaward conferences calls with bidders. Worked with the bid analysis and review team to analyze bid data. Conducted training with district offices in design estimates, construction cost estimates, and estimating processes.

Transportation Engineer/Project Manager 2008-2009
Project manager for highway improvement projects related to the Rickenbacker Airport and Norfolk Southern Intermodal Facility including the expansion of I-270 from 4 to 6 lanes, Alum Creek & Groveport Road intersection improvements, Pickaway County East-West connector, and Alum Creek Drive extension projects. Reviewed, and managed the review of, preliminary engineering, design, maintenance of traffic, traffic control, and environmental documents. Assessed feasibility and soundness of proposed engineering designs. Planned and conducted public meetings. Coordinated activities with township, village, and county projects. Responsible for district-wide pedestrian and bicycle facilities and coordination with local park boards.

Highway Management Administrator 2001-2008
Responsible for all construction and maintenance activities within an 8 county area in Central Ohio. Oversaw 400+ employees and $40 million dollar operating budget. Responsible for construction inspection and testing in accordance with ODOT specification standards. Ensured construction and maintenance performance standards and metrics were met. Served on the construction dispute resolution board. Responsible for equipment management, maintenance, repairs and replacement. Oversaw snow and ice control operations including monitoring weather forecasts, developing treatment strategies for antiicing and de-icing operations, deployment of crews, and adjusting tactical operations based on changing weather patterns. Coordinated multi-county operations. Provided technical expertise in the area of traffic control devices and maintenance of traffic work zones. Analyzed maintenance operations for the maintenance and repair of bridges, culverts, pavement, guardrail/barrier, drainage, vegetation obstructions, signs, pavement markings, and other roadway/roadside appurtenances and conditions in accordance with accepted engineering specifications. Provided support in emergency management operations and preparedness exercises. Administered division budget and served on budget review committee. Served as maintenance engineering expert and provided testimony in court of claims cases.

District Planning Engineer 1995-2001
Supervised the planning office and managed the capital improvement process. Identified, studied, prioritized, and planned pavement, bridge, and safety capital improvement program for an 8 county area in Central Ohio. Analyzed pavement, bridge, traffic, and safety data to identify needed improvements. Initiated corridor safety and access management improvement projects on high volume arterial routes for various projects including US 36/37, US 40, US 42 and SR 95 . Performed highway safety studies at high accident intersections and highway sections by analyzing traffic crash reports, performing field investigations, examining geometric configurations and other roadway features, and documenting the findings for various projects including US 23 & SR 665/SR 317, US 40 & SR 142/Georgesville Road, and I-70/SR 142/High Free Pike. Recommended and implemented safety and access management countermeasures including intersection widening, roadway re-alignment, and adjustments in horizontal and vertical grade. Reviewed and approved traffic impact studies for proposed developments. Reviewed utility and highway access permit designs for safe and efficient ingress/egress in compliance with ODOT design standards. Reviewed preliminary engineering documents prior to final design. Provided expert testimony for court of claims cases.

District Traffic Engineer 1993-1995
Responsible for planning, designing, and maintaining all traffic signs, pavement markings, and traffic signals within an 8 county area in Central Ohio. Conducted field traffic counting studies and performed signal warrant analyses for various projects including SR 315 & SR 750 and US 33 & Ebright Road. Performed speed limit studies and provided supporting documentation for statutory adjustments. Performed highway safety studies at high accident intersections and highway sections by analyzing traffic crash reports, performing field investigations, examining geometric configurations and other roadway features, and documenting the findings for various projects including SR 257 & SR 750, US 40 & Georgesville/Philippi Road, and US 40. Recommended and installed safety countermeasures including traffic signals, signs, barriers, and pavement markings. Conducted horizontal curve studies for advisory warning signs. Reviewed traffic impact studies and interchange modification studies for proposed developments. Reviewed highway access permit designs for safe and efficient ingress/egress in compliance with ODOT design standards. Reviewed preliminary engineering documents prior to final design.

MS Consultants

Traffic Studies Engineer

1989 to 1993

Studied, analyzed, and prepared technical documents for the traffic and operational impacts of proposed developments, signal systems and roadway improvements for state and local jurisdictions. Analyzed land development potential, land use patterns, land use potential, existing and proposed roadway capacity, and roadway geometric configurations. Applied ITE trip generation manual, highway capacity manual analysis, AASHTO Green Book design, Ohio Location and Design manual, and Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control standards. Conducted traffic counting programs and prepared traffic signal warrant analyses

Projects included the preparation of an interchange justification study for the 1200 acre Easton project in central Ohio, traffic signal warrant and operational analyses for 78 intersections in the City of Youngstown, traffic impacts of the 1300 acre Polaris development in Central Ohio, and traffic operations analysis of complex five-leg intersection and supporting roadways in the City of Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

Ohio Department of Transportation

1981 to 1989
Traffic Research Engineer 1985-1989

During the initial year, gained experience through the department’s Engineer-in-Training program, performing duties in the many and various bureaus within ODOT’s central and district offices. Designed and conducted research projects of proposed traffic control devices and systems. Determined staffing needs and established project schedule. Acted as lead worker supervising and training project personnel. Coordinated tasks among bureaus and districts. Recorded field performance, analyzed data and documented findings. Tested devices for adequate reflectivity, strength, and durability. Made oral and written recommendations. Wrote reports and specifications based on engineering analysis. Projects included analyzing the service life of sign sheeting material, positive protection of two-way opposing traffic for interstate construction temporary traffic control zones, and durability of temporary raised pavement markers for chip seal operations.

Engineering Co-op Student 1981-1984 Intermittent
Designed and drafted plans for new road construction including drainage system, bridge relocation, and intersection improvements based on traffic safety analysis for proposed Trenton Bypass project. Performed traffic safety studies at high accident locations on high volume arterials including US 27 and SR 125 near Cincinnati, Ohio. Inspected and approved work performed by highway construction contractors including railroad bridge construction, asphalt paving, bridge surface replacement, signing, traffic signal, and highway lighting operations on projects along I-71, I-275, SR 32, and Forest Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio. Analyzed construction work zone traffic patterns and made recommendations for changes based on the Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

Professional Credentials

  • Professional Engineer: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
  • Project Management Professional


MBA, Business Administration, The Ohio State University, 1998
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Cincinnati, 1985

Continuing Education

  • Designing and Operating Roads for the Aging Population, 2023
  • Combating Roadway Departures, 2023
  • Work Zone Design Course, 2022
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in Work Zones, 2022
  • Introduction to Design of Erosion Control Measures Using Riprap, 2021
  • Construction Stormwater BMP's, 2021
  • Safety Edge Webinar, 2021
  • Designing for Pedestrian Safety, 2021Anti-Icing Practice in Winter Maintenance Operations, 2020
  • Anti-Icing/RWIS Weather Basics, 2020
  • Anti-Icing/RWIS Winter Road Maintenance Management, 2020
  • Traffic Signal Design and Operation, 2020
  • Miss Dig 811 Safe Excavation Practices and Field Basics, 2020
  • Community Traffic Calming and Advocating for Active Transportation, 2019
  • OSHA 30-Hour Construction Hazard Recognition, 2019
  • Flagger Training, 2018
  • Guardrail Installation and Inspection of New Guardrails, 2018
  • Maintenance of Traffic for Supervisors, 2018
  • Roadside Vegetation Management, 2018
  • Pipe Installation, Inspection, and Quality, 2018 High-Tension Cable Barriers: Lessons Learned, 2017
  • Planning for Millennials: What Do They Want and How Do Agencies Prepare, 2017
  • Current Practices in Conducting Field Inspections for Maintenance Quality Assurance, 2016
  • Guardrail Series: Guardrail Basics, 2016
  • Guardrail Series: Maintenance and Repair, 2016
  • A Sampling of Winter Maintenance Best Practices in Europe, 2016
  • Using Winter Severity Indices for Winter Maintenance Performance Management, 2015
  • Maintenance Training and Certification Programs, 2015
  • The Vital Role of Operations and Maintenance in Supporting and Enhancing Sustainability, 2015
  • Economic and Ecological Effects of Roadside Mowing, 2015
  • Practical Techniques for Successfully Communicating Technical Topics, 2015
  • Bicycle Facility Design, 2009
  • Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan, 2009
  • Contract Administration, 2007
  • FEMA National Incident Management System (NIMS) – ICS-700, 2007
  • ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents, ICS-200, 2006
  • Highway Roadside, 2005
  • Workzone Maintenance of Traffic, 2005
  • Earthwork, 2004
  • Introduction to Incident Command System - ICS-100, 2004
  • Roadway Weather Information Systems (RWIS), 2003, 2004
  • Utility Relocation Process, 1999
  • Consultant Contract Administration, 1999

Professional Memberships

  • Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on Maintenance and Operations Management – Member
  • American Society of Civil Engineers – Member
  • Highway Maintenance Engineering Career Pathways Initiative - Member
  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Committee on Maintenance Roadway/Roadside Technical Working Group –Past Vice Chair
  • American Public Work Association, Central Ohio Branch - Past President
  • Ohio Partnership for Excellence - Past Examiner
  • City of Hilliard Planning & Zoning – Past Chairperson
  • City of Hilliard Recreation & Parks – Past Commission Member


Roadway maintenance condition detection and analysis, U.S. Patent #10410160 (2019)

Public Speaking and Training

  • County Engineer’s Association of Ohio, 2017, “ODOT System Preservation/Maintenance” AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance 2016, “No Boundaries Pooled Fund Study”
  • Ohio Municipal League 2016, “Innovative Ideas for Road Maintenance” Mayor’s Association of Ohio 2016, “ODOT Grants and Innovative Ideas for Road Maintenance”
  • Maintenance Peer Network 2015, “Asset Management and Performance Measures”
  • Infrastructure Maintenance Symposium 2013 "Current Challenges in Asset Maintenance"
  • AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance 2013, “Maintenance Condition Rating”
  • American Public Works Association, North American Snow Conference 2013, “Ohio’s Excellence in Snow & Ice Control Award”
  • American Public Works Association, International Public Works Congress and Exposition 2013, “Ohio’s Snow & Ice Performance Evaluator”
  • Auditor of State, Local Government Officials’ Conference, “ODOT Road Maintenance”
  • Ohio Transportation Engineer’s Conference, “ODOT’s Snow & Ice Critical Success Factor”
  • Former member of Hilliard Toastmasters and Worthington Toastmasters Clubs

v. 12/1/23

Related Resources

See All of Thomas's Published Content

Winter Roadway Maintenance

By Thomas Lyden
Expert Article

In this article, Civil Engineer, Thomas Lyden provides an overview of winter maintenance operations. His discussion includes two strategies for snow and ice control, anti-icing and de-icing, and how…

Pavement Crack Sealant & Motorcycle Crashes

By Thomas Lyden & Roland Hoover
Expert Article

In this article, Civil Engineer Thomas Lyden and Automotive Engineer Roland Hoover provide an overview of pavement crack sealing and discuss how misapplications of sealant can contribute to motorcycle…

Pavement Marking Removal & CWZs

By Thomas Lyden
Expert Article

In this article, Civil Engineer Thomas Lyden provides an overview of pavement markings in construction work zones. His discussion includes the importance of providing positive guidance within…

Pavement Defects: Maintenance & Construction

Thursday, August 20, 2020
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Featuring Kevin V. Gorman & Thomas Lyden
Video Webinar

Pavement defects commonly contribute to the cause of motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian mishaps. In this webinar video, experts from our Highway Engineering practice examine typical defects that…