SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday named Carlos Braceras as the executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation. Braceras replaces retired former UDOT chief John Njord.

For the past 12 years, Braceras served as UDOT deputy director. He will now assume responsibility for the agency’s 1,800 employees, as well as the design, construction and maintenance of Utah’s 6,000-mile system of roads and highways.

“Carlos Braceras is a man of outstanding capability and extraordinary expertise,” Herbert said. “His well-articulated vision for Utah’s future transportation system focuses on our economy, optimal mobility, maximum value for tax dollars and our unique quality of life.”

Braceras joined UDOT in 1986. Prior to his post as deputy director, he served as the director of UDOT’s Region Three office, chief geotechnical engineer, chief value engineer, member of the Legacy Parkway/I-15 North Project team and as a roadway design engineer.

“I am humbled by the trust placed in me by Gov. Herbert,” Braceras said. “I have great confidence in the people I work with every day to continue to pioneer new ways to address Utah’s transportation challenges and help the governor achieve his four cornerstones.”

Braceras replaces embattled former UDOT head John Njord, who stepped down after 12 years in the position. Njord came under fire after UDOT paid $13 million to a losing bidder on the I-15 Utah County freeway expansion, as well as his handling of the dismissal of an employee in connection with the incident.