ATLANTA — The chief of the Georgia Department of Transportation will be getting a $100,000 raise making him the third-highest paid unelected agency head in state government.
The State Transportation Board voted unanimously without discussion Thursday to increase Commissioner of Transportation Russell McMurry’s annual salary from $350,000 to $450,000, representing a nearly 29% raise.
The last pay increase McMurry received came in 2017, DOT spokesman Scott Higley wrote in an e-mail.
McMurry oversees an annual DOT budget of more than $3.6 billion, including more than $1.9 billion in state funds, and a payroll of nearly 4,000 employees.
He was appointed commissioner by the board in 2015, after serving as the agency’s director of planning and chief engineer. His career with the DOT began in 1990.
Since taking office, McMurry won widespread accolades for fast-tracking the rebuilding of the Interstate 85 bridge in Atlanta, which collapsed in March 2017 when a fire broke out in construction material stored beneath the span. The new bridge opened to traffic in May, a month ahead of the originally anticipated schedule.
McMurry also has steered an ambitious program of highway construction and maintenance across Georgia made possible by a $950 million transportation funding bill the General Assembly passed in 2015.
The only two nonelected state agency heads who earn higher salaries than McMurry are Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, whose annual salary in the last fiscal year was $828,888, according to the state website Open Georgia, and University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley, who was paid $523,950 in fiscal 2020.