Federal Highway Administrator Capka resigns

| 1/25/2008

Without saying why he quit or what he’ll do now, Federal Highway Administrator Richard Capka has resigned.

Capka has headed the Federal Highway Administration since 2005. Before that he had a short stint overseeing a portion of Boston’s Big Dig project. Prior to the Big Dig job, Capka had been a career military officer.

Capka was a big proponent of privatization and once told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that turning over public projects to private companies is just one of the “tools we have in our tool box.”

A statement from Transportation Secretary Mary Peters that is posted on the FHWA Web site does not address who the interim administrator will be or what kind of timeline there is for finding a replacement for Capka.

“My friend and colleague Rick Capka leaves the department with an exceptional record of accomplishment. His exceptional leadership in Minneapolis after the bridge collapse and in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina exemplifies Rick’s work ethic and ability to get the job done,” stated Peters on the FHWA Web site.

A spokesman for the administration told Land Line late Friday afternoon, Jan. 25, that Capka’s last day won’t be “until the end of February” and that FHWA Deputy Administrator Jim Ray would step in as acting administrator at that point. A new administrator will have to be nominated by the president and approved by the Senate, and there is no deadline for that appointment to be made.

– By Coral Beach, staff editor