The Texas Department of Transportation lost two of its longtime employees to retirement last Friday. Announcing their retirement recently, James Zumwalt and Raymond (Pete) Blackwell have departed the workforce with more than two decades of service with TxDOT. Zumwalt’s retirement was made official Friday, Aug. 29. He leaves TxDOT with 33 years and four months of dedicated service time with the local department. He started with TxDOT in 1970 and has spent his entire career working in McCulloch County to repair and fix roadways to make them safer for the public. He has experienced many changes in the department over his career’from shoveling sand onto icy bridges during winter to modern day equipment that puts out de-icing agents done mechanically at a much faster rate. When Zumwalt first started with TxDOT he was working with a crew of about 24 employees to the present day 14. “Maintaining 633 lane miles of highway could not have been accomplished without updated equipment and dedicated employees such as Zumwalt operating that equipment,” said department head Kyle Moseley. “His experience will be missed.” Also completing his tenure with TxDOT on Aug. 29, Blackwell leaves the department with 20 years and three months worth of service. He has spent countless hours hauling equipment, operating equipment, working after hours to take care of the needs of the public to safely traverse the highways. Blackwell’s entire career with TxDOT has been working on state roadways within McCulloch County. “His presence and experience will be missed as he pursues other interests,” said Moseley. Blackwell plans to get caught up on jobs that have been put aside over the years while he continued to focus on his work with TxDOT.