PENDLETON - When Dave Lorenzen drives through town, he doesn't have any problem spotting his handiwork - the bridges, parks and facilities he's helped develop to improve Pendleton.
"It's kind of neat," he said.
After 24 years as the city of Pendleton's engineer, Lorenzen is retiring.
Tim Simons, a Pendleton native, will replace him. He accepted the position during a phone call Tuesday with Jerry Odman, public works director.
"When I heard this position was open, I figured it was my calling," Simons said. "I've always wanted to get back to Eastern Oregon, and I always figured that one of the ways would be to find a position like this."
For Lorenzen, memorable projects include the Pendleton Family Aquatic Center, Community Park, 10th Street Viaduct, the Pendleton River Parkway and a pedestrian bridge over the Umatilla River, expansion at Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, and the remodel of the armory into Pendleton Convention Center.
"It's been a great experience, and I've learned a lot. Every project you learn something new," Lorenzen said.
He also said he enjoyed the working relationships he had, both at City Hall and with the private sector.
While Lorenzen officially retired in Oregon Oct. 31, he continues to work daily for Pendleton until Friday, and then will show up once a week until January.
He then will become public works director for Edgewood, Wash., which lies in the Puget Sound area. He plans on working there for another five years or more.
Lorenzen will maintain close ties to the Pendleton area, though, and expects to come back here when he retires for good.
"I have a lot of family in the area," Lorenzen said. He is a 1966 graduate of Pendleton High School.
Before starting with the city of Pendleton in 1978, Lorenzen worked for the city of Portland as an engineer.
Connecting Southgate to Westgate with a railroad bypass, park development, more development in the Southgate area and an industrial zone by the airport are issues the next city manager will have to deal with, Lorenzen said.
Simons, a 1984 Pendleton High School graduate, expected to start working for the city in early December.
He currently works for OTAK, Inc., a consulting firm in Lake Oswego.
The city had identified Simons as its top candidate for the position, Odman said.
"He's going to come with some really good skills," said Larry Lehman, city manager. "He definitely is interested in the area, being from here, and we think he'll fit in good with the community and the organization both."