Former INDOT commissioner named Bicentennial Citizen of the Week

Last Updated on August 18, 2016 by cassnetwork

bicentennialA Logansport native who served as one of the first women to head one of the state’s largest departments has been named the latest recipient of a local award.

Chris Mathau Klika is a recipient of the Bicentennial Citizen of the Week honor. A 1974 graduate of Logansport High School where she was active in student council and one of the top students in her class, Klika went on to attend Purdue University where she graduated with a civil engineering degree.

She worked for several years in the engineering industry before she was named Indiana Department of Transportation commissioner by the late Gov. Frank O’Bannon.

“One of the ironic moments of her tenure as commissioner is that she was able to preside over the completion of the first four-lane highway connecting Logansport to the interstate highway system,” Kitchell said. “Her work in executing Gov. O’Bannon’s Crossroads 2000 initiative set the stage for a much- needed investment in infrastructure in our state. We were fortunate to have her in that capacity at the critical juncture in Indiana history. She doesn’t receive enough credit for the contributions she made in that role.”

While Klika is not the first woman to serve in that capacity, she was one of the first. Christine Letts, a Harvard M.B.A., was named by former Gov. Evan Bayh to head INDOT in 1989.

Klika is the daughter of the late Dr. Heracleo Mathau, who was a former administrator at Logansport State Hospital.

Klika and other recipients are being recognized throughout Indiana’s bicentennial year for their work statewide, nationwide or worldwide. She will receive an Indiana state flag and a certificate from Mayor Dave Kitchell.

SOURCE: News release from Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell