Richard Tippett, P.E., T.E. Civil Engineer & Traffic Engineering Expert

Richard Tippett, Civil Engineer & Traffic Engineering Expert

Richard Tippett is a Civil and Traffic Engineer with 30+ years of experience in public works infrastructure projects for roadways, utilities, airports, and building construction. Rick applies his expertise to forensic casework involving civil engineering and the design, construction, and maintenance of roadways and intersections, traffic signalization, municipal engineering, and land development.

Rick started his post-graduate engineering career working on freeway and highway projects throughout California in a consulting engineering role. He has experience developing a diverse range of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), including preparing Plans, Specifications, and Estimate (PS&E), performing needed studies and overseeing contracts for street reconstruction, drainage, water and sewer line, and wastewater treatment projects.

As a city/municipal engineer, Rick focused much of his efforts on traffic engineering which included intersection and traffic signal design and construction, traffic signal maintenance, and traffic management on the public roads within his jurisdictions. As Trinity County's DOT Director, Rick oversaw engineering, maintenance, and county road construction crews, as well as served as the Airport Manager, Road Commissioner, and Executive Secretary of the Transportation Commission. In this role, Rick also managed the Building, Planning, and Environmental Health Departments.

Rick earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering with a focus in Transportation and Geotechnical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. He is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer in multiple states and a Professional Traffic Engineer in the state of California. Rick has won several industry awards, and was awarded Life Membership of the County Engineers of Association California (CEAC) in 2021. Rick has been very active in helping establish and serving on the California Local Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Committee and was also active on the committee evaluating Lane Departure Challenge Areas as identified in California's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP).

Rick proudly served for 21 years in Naval Aviation, retiring in 2003 with over 2,000 hours in the sky.

Experienced in Public Works infrastructure operations and projects for roadways, utilities, airports, transit, and building construction; including the design, construction, maintenance oversight and analysis of roadways and intersections, signalized intersections, roundabouts, stop sign controlled intersections, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, crosswalks, Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliance, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices compliance, temporary traffic control, work zones, utility relocation, clear zones, guide rail, drainage and stormwater management, lighting and traffic signal electrical wiring, access management plans, pedestrian and bicycle accommodation, traffic signal timing/programming, and identification of locations with high traffic crash rates.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.


2021 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving design, construction and maintenance of highways, intersections, and traffic signals; temporary traffic control; highway work zones; municipal engineering; pedestrians struck by vehicles on private property and public rights of way; and stormwater management and land development.

Trinity County

Director of Transportation

2009 to 2021

Appointed by the Board of Supervisors to plan, direct, and manage the following Public Works activities; DOT Administration, road maintenance, engineering, transit, transportation commission, airports, levees, flood control, planning, building and environmental health. Served as Road Commissioner, County Engineer and Executive Secretary for the Transportation Commission.

Coordinated and presented DOT programs to the Trinity County Board of Supervisors, California Transportation Commission, and the public. Provided high level and complex assistance to the Board and County Administrative Officer.

Represented the county and the department in discussions with California legislators both in Sacramento and Washington DC, providing input of the effects that state and federal programs have upon the DOT, and expressing desires for future transportation funding.

During this time, I served under the following titles:

  • Road Commissioner
  • Airport Manager
  • Transit Director
  • Regional Transportation Planning Agency Executive Secretary
  • Planning Director
  • Oversaw Building Office and Environmental Health
  • Construction Manager for the County Jail
  • EOC Logistics Officer

Trinity County projects for which I was responsible:

  • Project Manager overseeing design and construction of Lance Gulch Road, a two-mile-long arterial road on a new alignment, including a new bridge and traffic signal where Lance Gulch Road intersected State Highway 299.
  • Project Manager overseeing the roadway realignment on Hyampom Road improving the alignment of four miles of arterial roadway including three retaining walls for slope protection and rehabilitation of Nine Mile Bridge.
  • Oversaw implementation of a Highway Safety Improvement Program Grant improving signing and striping on over 100 miles of county road using low-cost systemic improvements.
  • As Road Commissioner, oversaw the annual “Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account” utilizing a Pavement Management Project to establish the 5 year and annual road maintenance program directing work on the county’s 699 road miles.
  • Directed the Road Superintendent concerning road maintenance, including signs, striping and metal beam guardrail identified by the Pavement Management Program, and/or emergency repairs after major rain events or wildfires.
  • Reconstruction of 13 bridges, including the 5 Bridge Project utilizing design/build delivery methods
  • Development of Airport Layout Plans, and Airport Land Use Plans
  • Project Manager for a new 72 bed Sheriff’s Detention Facility (from concept to opening) overseeing all consultants that prepared the plans and overseeing construction including the architect/engineer for site and building design, and the construction manager/owner representative during the construction phase.
  • Oversaw the preparation and implementation of the annual Overall Work Plan that identified Transportation Commission project objectives, task, budget, and staff needed for the year
  • Responsible for long range transportation planning which included preparation of the 2011 and 2016 Regional Transportation Plan, and the 2018 Non-Motorized Transportation Plan.
  • Assisted overseeing updates of the Transit Development Plan, and Title VI Plans as required by the California Transit Development Act.
  • Coordinated with Trinity County Solid Waste on recycled materials and yard waste disposal with assistance from Public Works.
  • Oversaw the reconstruction/restoration of $40+ million dollars of storm and fire roads working with FEMA and California Office of Emergency Services.
  • 2016-2019 and 2021 Local Representative of the Program Decision Committee (PDC) overseeing the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP). One of three members that determined how to allocate $30M annually of programming in California
  • 2015-2021, member of the Local Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Advisory Committee representing rural counties such as Trinity County.
  • 2020 member of the Executive Committee for the Strategic Highway Safety Plan representing Trinity County and the county engineers.
  • 2012-2021 member of the Transportation Cooperative Committee, a collection of local, state, and federal agencies tasked to improve communications and relationships amongst California agencies.

Additional Public Works duties included overseeing general aviation airports. Duties and projects completed included:

  • Operations of 5 general aviation airports, 4 NPIAS, and 1 non-NPIAS.
  • Coordinated operations and compliance with FAA and Caltrans Aeronautics Airport Permit, including participation in annual airport inspections, establishing the annual budget, and issuing NOTAMS as required.
  • Coordinated emergency use of airport facilities with CalFire and USFS Fire Teams.
  • Maintained and operated all facilities, (hangars, aprons, taxiways, runways, etc) safely and efficiently and in accordance with conditions outlined in the FAA Grant Assurances and Airport Compliance Program. This included establishing a hangar maintenance program and Airport Capital Improvement Program.
  • Updated the Airport Layout Plan (ALP) for Ruth Airport and initiated the process to update the Trinity Center Master Plan and ALP’s for Hayfork and Trinity Center.
  • Constructed required fencing at all 5 airports to provide required security and wildlife avoidance. Designed a runway paving project to rehabilitate Ruth Airport Runway, pending funding allocation.
  • Oversaw the Residential Through the Fence (RTTF) providing residential properties direct access to airport property.
  • Ensured compliance with the Trinity County Airport Land Use Plan, including serving as the Executive Secretary of the Airport Land Use Commission.
  • Reported to and received general guidance from the Airport Advisory Committee.

Other non-Public Works duties include serving as the Trinity County Planning Director from 2009 to 2019, including overseeing the Building Office, Environmental Health, and Cannabis Divisions. Work completed during that time included:

  • Establishing the Cannabis Cultivation Program addressing cultivation, processing, and distribution.
  • Initiation of Cannabis EIR, including convincing elected officials that a Negative Declaration wasn’t going to be enough.
  • Updating the Housing and Safety Elements
  • Establishing a Countywide Code Enforcement Program

Concerning disaster work, manned the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as the Logistics Officer-Disaster Services Worker for numerous flooding, landslide, fire and COVID disasters.


Senior Traffic Engineer

2002 to 2010
and 2020

Prepared signal, striping and street lighting plans for several locations in the LA basin.

Projects included:

  • Prepared signal and striping plans for several major renovation and new construction projects for the Angeles Unified School District
  • Modified Traffic signal plans to make room for building construction on Hollywood Blvd and Orange Drive next to the Mann’s and Kodak Theaters.
  • Prepared street abandonment plans to create a new building area in downtown LA.
  • Analyzed safe stopping sight distance for a proposed residential unit on a collector roadway.

City of Placerville

City Engineer

2004 to 2009

Assisted the Public Works Director. Oversaw the City’s Engineering Division which provided planning, design and engineering of City's water, sewer, and road system. Coordinated with Caltrans for construction of the Hwy 50 Operational Project. Responsible for providing discretionary and ministerial coordination between the Engineering and Planning Departments.

Oversaw the following significant projects:

  • Updating and reestablishing a Traffic Impact Fee Program
  • Reconstruction of a 1.5 MGD Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Implementation of an inflow/infiltration reduction plan replacing several old sewer systems
  • Design and reconstruction of roadway and affected utilities in downtown Placerville that included paving with Rubberize Asphalt Concrete.

City of Roseville

Senior Traffic Engineer

1997 to 2004

Oversaw Roseville’s Traffic Engineering Section which was divided into three parts: Traffic Signal Operations, Traffic Signal Maintenance, and Traffic Oversight. Responsible for the maintenance and compliance of all traffic control signs, roadway line striping and intersection traffic signals. Managed installation and took responsibility of approximately fifty traffic signals during my tenure with the city.

Implemented and standardized many programs within the department. Oversaw the implementation of standardized plans for traffic signals and striping utilized throughout the Sacramento Valley. Oversaw the development of Roseville’s ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) Master Plan to address the city’s traffic congestion.

Implemented a citywide accident database with automatic Form 555 accident report filing, and a geo-referenced electronic collision pin map. Converted many manual processes to electronic, such as: traffic study reports and tracking, radar surveys, and signal and stop sign warrant evaluations.

City of Auburn, California

Project Engineer

1995 to 1997

I was tasked to develop large Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) within the city. Projects included: a street reconstruction project; design and construction of a municipal parking lot; a large drainage replacement project; design of a retention basin project; various sewer line upgrade/replacement projects; and development of the city’s wastewater plant upgrades.

Alpha Engineering Group

Staff Engineer

1991 to 1995

Staff Engineer for Alpha Engineering Group worked on freeway and highway rehabilitation projects throughout California. Duties were focused mainly on several freeway pavement rehabilitation projects:

  • Pavement and drainage rehabilitation of I-5 in Glenn County, preparing Plans Specifications and Estimate (PS&E) for extending drainage, new lighting, and pavement reconstruction.
  • Pavement rehabilitation and widening of SR-99 in Tehama County, prepared PS&E package for a pavement reconstruction, reinforcing a drainage culvert, and grading for future widening.
  • I – 605 Carpool Widening Project – Los Angeles County, prepared PS&E package to widen the freeway in the median to create new carpool lanes. Work included major drainage reconstruction, assisting with drainage analysis, striping, and geometric layout plans, and prepared project specifications

U.S. Navy Reserve

Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator (AW) Acoustic

1982 to 2003

Flew over 2,000 hours on a VP-91 (Blackcats) P-3 with Crew 10 and Crew 3 over the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also flew with VP-66 (1984-85) and TSC-887 (1999-2003). Duties included;

  • Naval aircrewman (enlisted) responsible for safe operations consistent with the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) program and NAVAIR requirements, including annual evaluations and check rides.
  • Primary position was lead acoustic operator, with secondary flight observer duties, and ground support duties such as preflight flight essential equipment, passenger assistance and assignment, assisting with loading/unloading ordinance (sonobouys), fueling aircraft, and flight observer duties.
  • Provided ground support as required such as aircraft ramp relocation, foreign object debris (FOD) walkdowns, aircraft cleaning, tiedowns, and general ramp duties.
  • At the Tactical Support Center, provided crew briefing and debrief returning acoustic crew members.

Professional Credentials

  • Professional Civil Engineer: Arizona, California, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington
  • Professional Traffic Engineer: California


B.S., Civil Engineering, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, 1992

Continuing Education

  • California MUTCD Overview and Updates, ITS TechTransfer, November 2023
  • Access Management, PDHLibrary, December 2022
  • Riprap Design for Erosion Protection, PDHLibrary, December 2022
  • Work Zone Traffic Control, PDHLibrary, December 2022
  • Focus Four Struck-By Fatality Prevention for Construction, ClickSafety, December 2022
  • Intro to Incident Command Systems, FEMA, April 2020
  • Updating Transportation Analysis in CEAC, UC Davis Ext., February 2016
  • TXX Series: Wildland Focus, FEMA, February 2014
  • All Hazards: Recovery and Mitigation, FEMA, March 2013
  • Community Emergency Response Team – Basic, CERT, October 2012
  • Floodplain Management and Duties of Local Administrator, FEMA/DWR, June 2010
  • Trinity County Emergency Operations Plan Orientation, County, February 2010
  • ICS Overview for Executives and Senior Officers, FEMA, February 2010
  • California Law Governing Capital Project Development, Tech Transfer, May 2005
  • ADA Accessibility Required for Pedestrian Facilities, Tech Transfer, September 2004

Professional Memberships

Engineers of California CEAC, Principal Member, 2009 – 2021

  • Nor Cal Regional Director, 2011-2013
  • Land Use Committee Vice Chair, 2013-2015
  • Transportation Committee Vice Chair, 2016
  • Officer – Secretary 2018, Vice President 2019, President 2020, Past President 2021
  • Awarded Life Membership in 2021


Contributing author for - Guidelines for the Inspection and Maintenance of Roadside Safety Hardware. Roadside Pocket Guide. November 2016, CA FHWA

Speaking Engagements

  • A Local Perspective, the Federal Lands Access Program – a 1-hour presentation concerning the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) discussing the program in general with a follow up of successful projects from the perspective of the Local Representative on the Program Discussion Committee
    • Forest Engineers Conference, Sacramento, CA, 2020
    • House Representative Salud Carbajal’s staff, Washington DC, 2020
    • Association of Conservation Engineers, Claremont, CA, 2016
  • Multi Modal Owners Forum - Panel Member representing Small Projects Design-Build (D/B) at the 2019. Speaking to over 1,000 conference attendees focusing on the advantages and challenges we as owners face in using the D/B process. As a Panel Member, I had a particular focus; having contractors reach out to FEMA to push for consideration of Design/Build options which allow contractors to select the “right fix” after a disaster event.
    • Transportation/Aviation Conference. Cincinnati, OH 2019
  • Local Road Safety Plan Challenges – A 15-minute presentation discussing the challenges learned in development of Trinity County’s Local Road Safety Plan developed for the County’s HSIP program.
    • FHWA Peer Exchange – Bismarck ND, 2019
  • Now Let’s Think Systemic, a Remote Rural County’s Use of the Highway Safety Program (HSIP) - a 45-minute presentation discussing the importance of low-cost systemic improvements to help mitigate road departure collisions and to assist cities and counties compete for the highly competitive HSIP program.
    • National Association of County Engineers Conference, Cincinnati, OH 2017.
    • Various locations throughout California, 2017
  • Getting the Message, Remote Rural County’s Usage of Social Media - a 20-minute presentation on use of social media to disperse critical information using local information networks.
    • Public Works Officers Institute, Monterey, CA, 2016
  • Trinity County DOT Update - 30-minute presentation discussing current topics such as highway funding, Secure Rural Schools, SB1, cannabis program concerning the Department of Transportation and Planning.
    • Kiwanis and Lions Clubs. Hayfork and Weaverville, CA, various times 2009 to 2021


  • Recipient of the 2020 CHICS Diversity Award
  • Received a 2019 California Senate Resolution of Appreciation (McGuire)
  • Recipient of the 2018 CEAC Engineer of the Year Award
  • Oversaw two bridge projects (six bridges total) that won the following awards:
    • APWA 2018 Regional Project of the Year
    • ASCE 2018 Regional Bridge Project of the Year
    • DBIA 2018 National Excellence in Design/Build Small Projects
    • DBIA 2018 Nation Design Build Merit Award – Transportation
    • CSAC 2018 California Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Award
    • ASCE 2016 Regional Structure Project of the Year
  • Recipient of the 2012 CalACT Outstanding Rural Transit Program

v. 01/15/24

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