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Montgomery Township's Gail Smith Named Municipal Engineer of the Year

January 18, 2022

The New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers recently named Montgomery Township Engineer Gail Smith as the 2021. She is the first woman to receive the award, joining 37 men who have received the award since 1982.

Montgomery Township Engineer Gail Smith
Montgomery Township Engineer Gail Smith

The society presented the award during the annual meeting of the League of Municipalities in Atlantic City in November in recognition of Smith's "commitment to the profession of municipal engineering and her exemplary service to Montgomery Township.”

Smith says, “It is a great honor and truly gratifying to receive this award from my fellow New Jersey Municipal Engineers."

Montgomery Mayor Devra Keenan says it should come as no surprise that New Jersey’s first woman to be named municipal engineer of the year comes from Montgomery.

“I’m proud to say that for many years, Montgomery has had an excellent track record of electing and hiring women to important municipal positions," she said. "Gail is an outstanding example. We are thrilled about this recognition.”

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Throughout her 18 years as Montgomery’s engineer, Smith says her proudest accomplishment was the environmental remediation of New Jersey’s former North Princeton Developmental Center, which eventually became Somerset County’s Skillman Park.

“Township Engineer Gail Smith managed the bidding, award, and management of a contract to clean up the site, removing asbestos and remediating abandoned landfills,” said Montgomery Township Administrator Donato Nieman. “In just eight weeks during the summer of 2007 Gail Smith oversaw the demolition of numerous derelict buildings and the remediation of the entire site. Not a single release of any asbestos fiber or related compounds occurred.”

In 2015 Somerset County purchased the 250-acre surplus property from Montgomery to create the county park.

More recently, Smith and the township partnered with Rutgers University in a pilot study to incorporate use of pervious concrete into the design of a pathway along Skillman and Burnt Hill Roads. The Pathway Project included construction of 2.1 miles of new, 6-foot wide paved pedestrian multi-use pathway parallel to the roadways and was partially funded with NJDOT local aid funds.

In addition to these noteworthy projects, Smith has played an important role in rebuilding and repaving of hundreds of miles of township roads, managing numerous wastewater treatment plant projects, providing regulatory oversight to hundreds of private development projects, and supporting the municipality on its own projects, such as the construction of the new Municipal Center on Orchard Road.

“Gail Smith has had an enormously positive impact on the Montgomery Township landscape you see today, and that will be seen and enjoyed by future generations,” Mayor Keenan said.


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