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Transportation Secretary Mineta Names Capka To Serve as FHWA Deputy Administrator

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  J. Richard Capka, Norman Y. Mineta

Transportation Secretary Mineta Names Capka To Serve as FHWA Deputy Administrator

Federal Highway Administration
August 5, 2002

Monday, August 5, 2002
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 36-02

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced the appointment of J. Richard Capka to serve as deputy administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

"Rick's experience in overseeing a major infrastructure project and his strong program and managerial skills will be great assets as we work to maintain and improve our nation's highway network for the 21st century," Secretary Mineta said. "I'm pleased to welcome him to our DOT team."

As deputy administrator, Capka will help to prepare the Bush administration's transportation reauthorization proposal, shape the management of highway mega-projects across the country, and develop other programs and initiatives for the FHWA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation with a staff of 2,800, a field office in every state, and an annual budget of more than $30 billion.

Before assuming his FHWA post, Capka served as executive director and chief executive officer for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, where he directed oversight of the $14.5 billion Central Artery/Tunnel project in Boston, the largest and most complex infrastructure project in the United States.

In managing the project, Capka worked closely with the FHWA and other federal agencies to win approval of the CA/T finance plan, providing accurate summaries of project costs and keeping lawmakers and other officials apprised of the project's schedules and progress. The CA/T's latest cost and schedule review marked the first time in the project's history in which its overall cost remained steady.

"Rick Capka is an outstanding professional whose leadership on the Central Artery project helped to restore much-needed trust and confidence there," FHWA Administrator Mary Peters said. "The skills and experience he brings from his successful role on the CA/T project, as well as from his distinguished career with the Corps of Engineers, will be invaluable for us at the FHWA."

Capka came to the MTA after more than 29 years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including service as commander of the West/Southwest and the Southeast, Caribbean and Central/South America regions. In 1997, he led the federal response to flooding in California that damaged the Sacramento and the San Joaquin River flood-control systems, an effort that earned praise from President Clinton and former California Gov. Pete Wilson. He retired as a brigadier general.

Capka, a professional engineer, holds a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a master's degree in engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and a master's in business administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu.

Capka and his wife, Susan, have two sons.


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