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Posted on: February 29, 2024

Highway Director Clement Abongwa to leave Kenosha County for position in Dane County

Portrait of Clement Abongwa

Kenosha County Highway Director Clement Abongwa will depart his position this spring as he takes on a similar role in Dane County, Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman announced today.

As Commissioner of the Dane County Department of Highway & Transportation, Abongwa will lead operations in the state’s second largest county, and where Abongwa has lived for several years while commuting to Kenosha County.

Abongwa will remain in the Kenosha County position through April 19.

“I have worked closely with Clement for several years, going back to my previous role in the Legislature,” Kerkman said. “He has been an outstanding leader for Kenosha County with his immense knowledge and steadfast advocacy for infrastructure development, which is vital to economic development. He will be missed, but we wish him well in his new role.”

Among the specific projects completed under Abongwa’s leadership, Kerkman noted the 2020-’21 expansion of Highway S — the largest county trunk highway project in Kenosha County’s history — and improvements to Highway H that enabled the development of the Kroger fulfillment center in Pleasant Prairie.

A native of Cameroon, Abongwa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He joined Kenosha County as Assistant Director of Highways in 2015 before being promoted to Highway Director/Commissioner in 2017.

Before his time with Kenosha County, Abongwa was a Construction Supervisor with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and a Civil Engineer for the City of Kenosha.

“My whole professional life in Wisconsin, I’ve been in Kenosha County, starting with the city and then going to the DOT, where I managed several major projects in the area,” Abongwa said.  “It has been a wonderful place to work, and I'm proud of what we’ve accomplished together.”

Kerkman praised Abongwa for cultivating productive relationships with the municipalities within the county. Somers Village President George Stoner is among those who commended Abongwa for his efforts.

“Clement has been a phenomenal friend of mine, and to the village and the county,” Stoner said. “I don’t know how we’re going to be able to replace him because he’s been so great. He’s going to really be missed.”

Kenosha County Public Works Director Shelly Billingsley noted she has worked with Abongwa in various roles and capacities over the years and said it has been a pleasure to work with him since she transitioned into her current position with the county in 2022.

“He is very passionate about the county and the impact a well-designed, safe and maintained highway system can have on residents,” Billingsley said. “I wish him well on his future endeavors and hope that we work together again in the future in his new role.”

Kerkman said the process of hiring a successor to Abongwa will begin soon.

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