Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NTTA Executive Director exits to the private sector

Tollway director resigns; Southwest Parkway project still on course

Feb. 14, 2007

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Copyright 2007

A leadership change is in the works at the Plano-based North Texas Tollway Authority, but officials don’t expect the matter to disrupt plans for the Southwest Parkway toll road in Fort Worth.

NTTA Executive Director Allan Rutter resigned Wednesday morning after NTTA board members held a closed-door session. He had been at the helm about two years.

Rutter will be temporarily replaced by Jerry Hiebert, who was NTTA director from 1998-2005 and spent the last two years with the consulting firm HNTB Corp.

Southwest Parkway is scheduled to be under construction by early next year from Interstate 30 to Altamesa Boulevard, and possibly open by 2010.

Rutter caused a Fort Worth firestorm in 2005 when he announced that the parkway would cost up to $820 million, up from $350 million. But officials later determined that the project was still feasible as a toll road, and that it could soon be extended as far south as Cleburne many years ahead of schedule.

Rutter is a former Federal Railroad Administrator and was then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s transportation adviser during the 1990s. He intends to “apply his experience in transportation policy and practice in the rapidly expanding public and private toll road industry,” according to an NTTA release.

“Allan has overseen the Authority during a critical time in our history,” said NTTA Chairman Paul Wageman. “The NTTA continues to build broad regional support, and has a leadership team focused on achieving its strategic objectives, as well as the financial strength to put its assets to work in enhancing mobility for North Texans.”

Hiebert said he will hire fellow HNTB alum Rick Herrington as his acting deputy director.

“I’m proud to have helped the NTTA Board adopt a five-year strategic plan to guide the Authority into the future,” Rutter said. “The Authority is strongly positioned to partner with the Texas Department of Transportation to bring turnpike projects to the region ... We are working diligently with TxDot and the North Central Texas Council of Governments to increase mobility and support economic growth through innovative transportation solutions long into the future."

Gordon Dickson, 817-685-3816

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