Federal Highway Administration
Capka has led FHWA since May 2006

J. Richard Capka, who has headed the Federal Highway Administration since May 2006, said he is leaving his post by the end of February. Capka informed President Bush of his decision in a Jan. 23 letter. No successor has yet been named. FHWA spokesman Ian Grossman says that FHWA's deputy administrator, James Ray, "would become acting administrator upon the administrator's departure."

In a letter to Bush, Capka said, "The decision was an extremely difficult one and was based solely upon our family situation." Capka didn't say what he plans to do next. But in a message to senior FHWA officials, which was obtained by ENR, he said, "The 'cleats' are not hung up yet," and added that he "will continue to seek ways to contribute to our nation in a meaningful way."

Capka was sworn in as FHWA Administrator on May 31, 2006, but had been acting administrator since August 2005. He joined FHWA as deputy administrator in August 2002.

Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, who was FHWA's chief from 2001 to 2005, said that Capka "leaves the department with an exceptional record of accomplishment." Peters cited Capka's "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."

Before coming to FHWA, Capka was chief executive officer and executive director of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, where he oversaw the $14.6-billion Central Artery/Tunnel project, known as the "Big Dig." Although the project's final cost was far above its initial estimate, FHWA says that the budget Capka set for the Big Dig in 2001 "has remained on target."

Capka retired from the Army in 2000 as a brigadier general, after 29 years with the Corps of Engineers. His long career included assignments as commander of the Corps' South Atlantic and South Pacific divisions.