DETROIT — Matthew Chynoweth, chief bridge engineer and director of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Bureau of Bridges and Structures, has been named national complex bridge director for WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy. 

The WSP USA Complex Bridge group provides high-level technical expertise for all bridges of unique complexity including cable-supported, movable, and concrete segmental bridges. In addition, the group provides management and evaluation expertise of existing in-service bridges.

In his new role, Chynoweth will provide strategic direction and leadership to WSP’s national complex bridge team, providing technical expertise and innovative solutions for the firm’s clients. He will engage with the firm’s technical experts to develop full suites of services to highway and bridge agencies and collaborate with regional and local leadership to implement business development strategies that deliver strategic and technical solutions to clients.

Chynoweth will succeed Barton Newton, who will step down in his role as the current national director of complex bridges at WSP. Barton will continue with WSP and focus on delivering quality bridge projects for our clients, primarily in the western U.S.

“Matt is a proven and recognized leader in complex bridges, and his impact over the past 20 years on bridge construction in Michigan has been substantial,” said Sofia Berger, transportation business line executive at WSP. “He understands from personal experience the challenges that our transportation clients face today, and what they require from their collaborations with bridge designers and engineers to achieve success. I am pleased that he will have opportunity to share his expertise with WSP clients on a national scale.” 

Since 2017, Chynoweth has served as the first MDOT director of the Bureau of Bridges and Structures, which is responsible for statewide policy and procedure development and execution to ensure all bridges and structures are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for the safety of the traveling public. He was involved at the ground level with the creation and commissioning of the bureau for MDOT.

In this role, Chynoweth was responsible for directing bridge design, construction and inspection for bridge structures across the state as well as the development of technical policy related to large, complex, and movable bridges. He served as the lead for Michigan bridge projects, including the Gordie Howe International Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, currently under construction. WSP is providing environmental services for the project.

Chynoweth previously served in several technical and leadership roles for MDOT, including deputy metro region engineer, engineer of bridge field services, and Bay City Transportation Service Center manager. 

In addition to his duties with MDOT, he has served as an adjunct professor for a graduate bridge engineering course since 2020 at the University of Michigan; and since 2006 for a bridge design, evaluation, and management course at Lawrence Technological University.

Chynoweth is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and Wayne State University with a master’s degree in structural engineering. 

He is a member of the Engineering Society of Detroit, and in 2019 received its Distinguished Service Award. He is a member of the American Segmental Bridge Institute executive committee, and in 2020 received its Leadership Award. He also serves as an advisory council member for the Harvard Business Review and is an executive committee member for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials committee on bridges and structures. For more information, visit