Robert Lambdin, 57, senior forecaster for State Highway Administration

May 10, 1999|By Todd Richissin | Todd Richissin,SUN STAFF

For more than 35 years, Robert Lambdin tried to keep Maryland's traffic from jamming, helping to figure out which highways to build and where.

It was no easy job. As a senior forecaster for the State Highway Administration, Mr. Lambdin had to tell his bosses not just how many cars and trucks might use a given strip of road today, but how many might use the road 20 years from now.

He was considered an expert at his job, the dean of traffic forecasters in Maryland.

On Saturday, Mr. Lambdin was killed in a two-car collision in morning fog at the Baltimore Beltway and Interstate 83. He was 57 and lived in Timonium.

An autopsy indicated Mr. Lambdin had suffered a ruptured aneurysm in his aorta before the crash, his family said, which might have caused him to become disoriented.

State police said his car was traveling the wrong way on the highway ramp and collided head-on with another car about 7: 10 a.m.

Roger Jorss, who worked alongside Mr. Lambdin at SHA for nearly 26 years, said nobody in the agency was more respected.

"He was basically the best there was," Mr. Jorss said. "He was one of the people who [was] looked up to. When you wanted the job done right and on time, he's the guy you wanted. This is some kind of loss."

Dealing with growth patterns was a big part of Mr. Lambdin's job. Every ramp, every bridge, every resurfacing project that the state has planned or is planning for the Baltimore metropolitan area passed through his office. He had much to do over the years with Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the Baltimore Beltway, the Northwest Expressway and other less-traveled roads.

"He was very good at his work, but he also was a good family man, I know that," Mr. Jorss said. "His office was always decorated with pictures of the family."

Mr. Lambdin, a Baltimore native, grew up in the Idlewylde section in Northeast Baltimore.

As a senior at Loyola Blakefield high school, where he played football and graduated in 1959, he was awarded the McCormick Unsung Hero Award, a statewide honor given by the spice company to good players who go unnoticed.

He married Margaret Goldsborough in 1965 and they moved to Timonium.

"He was an avid sports fan," said his daughter Ann Lambdin Carr of Linwood. "He coached all his children in sports. He was a wonderful loving husband, father and grandfather. He really loved his babies."

Mr. Lambdin was an active member of St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, 6428 York Road, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10: 45 a.m. Wednesday.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by a son, David Lambdin, and another daughter, Meghan Lambdin, both of Towson; and four grandchildren.

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