Created by act of the Florida Legislature in 1987, District Seven was split off from District One in order to better serve the densely urbanized areas. (A District One Tampa Bay Urban Office had been established in 1985 with seven employees.) District Seven originally encompassed Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties; Citrus County was added in 1994.
The District was originally housed in a suite of offices in the Westshore area. Growing rapidly (by July of 1991, there were a total of 792 positions assigned to District Seven), personnel moved into a new building at our current location in 1992.
In 1996, in order to recognize his efforts related to transportation improvements, the Florida Legislature passed a set of bills naming the District Seven headquarters as the Malcolm Beard Building. Mr. Beard served first in the Florida House (1978-80) and then the Florida Senate from 1980 to 1996. He served on the Transportation Committee for many of those years.
With over 600 employees, District Seven encompasses construction and maintenance offices in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hernando Counties. There is also a CCEI and Interstate Construction office in Tampa, as well as a District One and Seven Structures Maintenance Office, also in Tampa.
District Seven is also home to two seaports and 13 airports, as well as hundreds of miles of rail.
While the Department is not specifically responsible for these facilities, it coordinates with the various entities (for example, CSX Rail, Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay) in establishing multimodal policies and in ensuring their adequate operation and safety.
James Kennedy was named the first District Seven Secretary in 1987 and served in that role until 1990. He was followed by William McDaniel (1990 – 1997), Kenneth Hartman (1998 – 2005), Don Skelton (2005 – 2012) and Paul Steinman (2013 – 2017). The current District Seven Secretary is David Gwynn. He was appointed to the position in July of 2017.