Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters is stepping down after nearly four years as the nation's top highway official to return home to be with family in Phoenix.
Peters informed U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta last night and shared the news with her senior staff this morning.
During her FHWA tenure, Peters moved the agency toward finding new and more effective methods of investing in highway and bridge projects, primarily through greater private sector investment. She encouraged the use of new technologies that reduce construction time and expense and result in safer, longer-lasting highways, led a national campaign to improve safety in highway work zones and worked to streamline the decision-making process for major transportation projects.
"Mary has left a lasting impression on the history of surface transportation," Mineta said. "She has made us all think about the future of surface transportation in ways we might not have otherwise."
Peters was director of the Arizona Department of Transportation when nominated by President Bush four years ago. She was sworn in as the 15th Federal Highway Administrator on Oct. 2, 2001. She received the 2004 National Woman of the Year Award from the Women's Transportation Seminar, a national organization of transportation professionals. She is a fourth-generation Arizonan with a bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix.
FHWA Deputy Administrator Rick Capka will serve as Acting Administrator when Peters departs at the end of July.