J. RICHARD CAPKA
2006 — 2008
Federal Highway Administrator
Soldier — Engineer — Executive — Administrator
J. Richard "Rick" Capka was sworn in as the 16th Federal Highway Administrator on May 31, 2006. Previously, Mr. Capka had been appointed the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in August 2002 and was the Acting Administrator since August 2005. In those capacities, he helped to prepare the Bush administration's proposed transportation reauthorization legislation; to shape the management of highway mega-projects and; to develop national programs and initiatives to relieve congestion. He was also the first U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) official to deploy to Iraq (2003) and led the highly successful federal response to the tragic 2007 collapse of the I-35 W Bridge in Minneapolis, MN.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Administrator, Mr. Capka served as Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (MTA) where he directed the oversight of the $14.6 billion Central Artery/Tunnel project ("Big Dig") in Boston, the largest and most complex infrastructure project of its time in the United States. In that capacity, Mr. Capka worked closely with the USDOT Inspector General, the FHWA and other state agencies to develop and gain approval for the project's complex finance plan. The budget that Mr. Capka established in May 2001 remained on target and provided a sound foundation for the project's subsequent financial management.
Prior to his position with the MTA, Mr. Capka retired as a Brigadier General in 2000 following a 29-year military career in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers where he served in the U.S., Europe, the Pacific and the Far East. His most recent assignments before retirement included Division Engineer and Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division, where he was responsible for managing the Corps' activities in the southeastern U.S. and in Central and South America. He also was Commander of the South Pacific Division, where he was responsible for the Corps' activities in the far western and southwestern U.S. during which time he led the interagency efforts to restore California's vast federal flood control system that had been severely damaged following the state's unprecedented floods in 1987. That effort earned specific praise from both the President and Governor of California. He is a 1971 graduate of the United States Military Academy.