The Asheville City Manager’s office is pleased to announce that Jessica Morriss, current Assistant Director of Transportation, has been named the Interim Transportation Director, and Christopher Cairns, current City Traffic Engineer, will also hold the role of Interim City Engineer. Both Morriss and Cairns will begin interim assignments on January 1, 2024.
Jessica has nearly twenty years of experience in transportation planning, engineering, and operations and recently celebrated her fifth anniversary with the City of Asheville. Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and Master’s degree in Transportation Engineering from the University of Florida, as well as a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Montana. She has worked in local government for over seventeen years and has broad experience in project management, policy development, and working with City partners such as the North Carolina Department of Transportation, French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, and others.
Christopher joined the City of Asheville in 2021 after four years as the City Transportation Engineer for Orlando, Florida. He worked for more than 20 years as an engineer at the Florida Department of Transportation, primarily in traffic safety and operations, as well as with roadway design. Christopher is a registered engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from the University of Florida.
“Transportation has a vital role in ensuring our community is well-planned and safe while using our roadways, transit system, parking facilities, and greenways,” City Manager Debra Campbell said. “We are confident that Jessica & Christopher will continue to build on the strengths of their team, and deepen the positive working relationships that Transportation has with other City departments and the community.”
This comes after the announcement of Ken Putnam’s retirement who served as the City’s Transportation Director and City Engineer. The City Manager’s Office is actively recruiting for the City’s next Transportation Director to fill the new, permanent director position in early calendar year 2024.