SDDOT leader Bergquist announces retirement

South Dakota Department of Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist pictured during a 2018 hearing in Pierre. (Republic file photo)
Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said his department doesn't have safety standards or require bonding for manure pipelines along state highways. (Photo courtesy of Bob Mercer)

Longtime South Dakota Department of Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist announced Friday he will retire, effective Nov. 13.

Bergquist has served as SDDOT secretary under the last three governors after being appointed by Gov. Mike Rounds in 2007, and has worked in the department for 22 years.

“Darin has been a tremendous servant to the people of South Dakota for over 20 years, including 13 years as Secretary of Transportation, and his service will be greatly missed,” Gov. Kristi Noem said in a statement. “He’s helped our state navigate countless challenges over the years. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Bergquist first started working for state government in 1996 as an administrative law judge with the Department of Labor.

“After more than 22 years with the Department, the decision to resign has not been an easy one,” Bergquist said. “I’ve been extremely blessed in my career to have had the opportunity to serve as a member of cabinet for three different governors over the last 13 years. I will miss the Department and all the outstanding people that I’ve had the chance to work with throughout my career. However, I am also looking forward to the next chapter in my life and what it may have in store for me.”


The SDDOT has a budget of nearly $700 million annually and includes more than 1,000 employees. The department oversees the state's airports, bridges, highways and railroads.

Bergquist is a Milbank native. He graduated from Jamestown College in North Dakota with a degree in Business Administration and earned his juris doctorate from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1993.

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