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A Roadside Chat with SDOT’s Capital Project Division’s Project Manager, Eric Tweit.

Eric Tweit grew up on a family farm in central Minnesota. Now, he’s managing some of Seattle’s largest transportation projects. 

Eric Tweit is a Project Manager in SDOT’s Capital Project Division. He’s currently managing the Madison Bus Rapid Transit Project, or RapidRide G as it will be called when King County Metro begins operation in 2024.   

A RapidRide bus on the move.
A RapidRide bus on the move. Photo Credit: SDOT.

Eric works with a Project Engineer, who leads the design, and a Construction Engineer, who manages the construction side, to deliver transportation projects that advance the City’s priorities. The projects that his team delivers are touched by every division in SDOT from idea and concept to operation and maintenance.   

He started his City of Seattle career as a transportation planner in the Planning Department (a department that has since been reorganized and re-distributed to different City departments) and continued as a planner at SDOT. That experience has helped him better understand the projects that are delivered and why those projects are selected. 

Hi Eric! To kick off this Roadside Chat, what do you like about your job at SDOT? 

I like the collaboration with planners, engineers, and outreach specialists, as well as with the communities in which we build our projects. I’ve had the opportunity to work on some big, high-profile projects, and I appreciate the support from colleagues and directors at SDOT and other City departments, as well as the community members and stakeholders that really makes these projects happen. 

What part of Seattle do you call home? 

After about ten years of living the urban center dream on First Hill – and walking three blocks to work – my husband and I moved to the Meadowbrook neighborhood in NE Seattle last year. Working from home during the pandemic probably made it easier to imagine living more than walking distance from the office and a lot of other things, and we’re getting settled into our new neighborhood. More bus or light rail trips are in my future.   

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up on a farm in central Minnesota, which doesn’t seem to explain my attraction to living in a city like Seattle. I love Seattle, and I still spend most of my vacation time going back to visit my family and even help a little on the family farm.   

A frustrated time-share salesman once told me and my boyfriend that we “do not know how to vacation.” That may be correct, but I’m happily spending a couple of weeks in Minnesota this month – helping my brother a little with hay baling and taking care of new calves, as well visiting family and friends, and hanging out on a couple of Minnesota’s 17,000 lakes.  

Eric and his mother on Lake Minnewaska. Photo: Eric Tweit

What does Pride mean to you? 

I came out as gay fairly late in my life and didn’t experience much of the struggles that queer people before me experienced. By that time, I wondered if Pride was still necessary or relevant, but I concluded for myself that it’s very relevant as both a celebration of our lives and the people that blazed a trail ahead of me, and a reminder that there’s more to do.   

There are still many who are denied rights that most of us take for granted and are discouraged from being themselves or even forced to be someone they are not.   

Who’s someone in the LGBTQIA+ community that you look up to, and why? 

I would say my Aunt Avis. She has never been vocally out as gay, but she spent her post-college life with her partner Muriel until Muriel’s death about ten years ago. We all considered Muriel as Aunt Muriel and loved spending time with them at their summer lake home in northern Minnesota or their winter home in San Diego. Avis and Muriel, along with another aunt and a couple of friends, ventured to Seattle to work for Boeing during WW II.   

Eric’s aunt Avis in her kayak.
Eric’s aunt Avis in her kayak. Photo: Eric Tweit

Aunt Avis has always been supportive, and she continues to be an inspiration at 97. This summer, I put air in her bike tires so she could ride to the mailbox. 

Enjoy getting to know SDOT Staff? Check other Roadside Chats we’ve had with Becky EdmondsPauh WangJess Kim, and more