Transportation Corridor Agencies’ Chief Executive Officer Michael Kraman Announces His Retirement
IRVINE, Calif. - April 03, 2020
Following a long career of public service and leadership, Michael A. Kraman, CEO of the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), has informed the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency (SJHTCA) and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Boards of Directors of his decision to retire from the position; he has committed to stay on board until an interim CEO can be named. As CEO, Kraman focused on the strategic planning and operations to manage and improve California’s largest network of toll roads – State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead TCA during times of success and challenges. The recent action by the F/ETCA Board to extend Los Patrones Parkway Untolled, accomplishes TCA’s efforts to complete the southern extension of the 241 Toll Road, closing a long chapter in our Agencies’ history,” said Kraman. “Having spent more than 35-years delivering major transportation infrastructure projects, this achievement, coupled with the recent 241/91 Express Connector agreement, presented a timely opportunity to transition to the next phase of my life. It’s been my honor and privilege to serve our Directors, employees, loyal customers and Orange County.”
As CEO, Kraman set several priorities for himself and the Agencies. A few highlights include:
- Improving TCA’s long-term financial position, resulting in investment grade ratings by all three major rating agencies, to provide durability and flexibility to better meet future challenges and important objectives.
- Completing the transition to all-electronic-tolling to allow non-stop tolling for all users of The Toll Roads.
- Collaborating with the public, local cities and jurisdictions to take a realistic approach in developing a feasible alternative to the southern extension of the 241 Toll Road.
- Advancing the 241/91 Express Connector Project to create a seamless connection between the 241 Toll Road and the 91 Express Lanes.
- Improving customer service for nearly 2 million TCA accountholders by offering choices for customer’s payment options and ensuring The Toll Roads’ website and mobile app are one of the best in the industry.
- Strengthening regional partnerships with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), local cities and the business community.
“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people who travel to and through Orange County daily, TCA’s Boards of Directors thank Mike for his leadership and tireless efforts that have positioned TCA for future success,” said SJHTCA Chairwoman Trish Kelley. “During his tenure, he has led significant changes to improve operations and strengthen inter-agency relationships. We are grateful for his many contributions over the last eight years, and he will forever be a part of Orange County’s transportation history.”
When asked about his greatest accomplishment, Kraman cited efforts to solve the decades-old challenge of completing the Foothill South segment of the 241 Toll Road. New opportunities began with the negotiation of an environmental settlement agreement between TCA and the Save San Onofre Coalition. That agreement settled six lawsuits that had been plaguing TCA for more than 15 years, but more importantly it allowed TCA to move forward with a robust and far-reaching community and stakeholder outreach process to find creative options for transitioning the southern terminus of the 241 Toll Road into the regional highway network in South Orange County.
“Moving the Los Patrones Parkway Untolled Extension alternative forward is a great outcome from this process. Having spent more than 35 years in my career delivering major transportation infrastructure projects, I know that public input always leads to better ideas and better projects. This experience and its outcome have been no exception,” said Kraman.
TCA’s mission to enhance regional mobility in Orange County and Southern California with creativity, innovation and cutting-edge transportation technology, would not be made possible without solid finances. When Kraman took over as CEO in 2014, much of the Agencies’ debt was not rated investment grade. Moving the Agencies’ credit to investment grade ratings by all three major rating agencies, including an A- rating from S&P Global Ratings, has been achieved through the strategic leadership of CFO Amy Potter and the commitment of the SJHTCA and F/ETCA Boards of Directors.
“As I look back on the last eight years, beginning as chief engineer, then CEO in 2014, I feel a great sense of accomplishment having worked diligently with partner transportation agencies, as well as county and city representatives, the business community and environmental groups, to improve mobility throughout the region,” said Kraman. “TCA is in the strongest financial position of its 30-year history and while that will be tested with current events, we’ve successfully laid the foundation to bring new and innovative opportunities to our partners for a bright future.”
“Orange County’s transportation infrastructure benefits greatly from the value The Toll Roads provide,” said F/ETCA Chairwoman Christina Shea. “During Mike’s leadership, TCA saw six consecutive years of strong growth and finances. TCA remains an industry-leading innovator thanks to Mike’s tireless efforts.”
In his time at TCA, Kraman has been recognized with numerous awards including being named Person of the Year by the California Transportation Foundation (CTF) and most recently, Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Public Sector by the Orange County Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE-OC). During Kraman’s tenure, TCA’s accomplishments have been recognized by CTF; Southern California Association of Governments; Orange County Business Council; Mobility 21; International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association; Women in Transportation Seminar-Orange County; ASCE-OC, American Council of Engineering Companies-Orange County; and the Los Angeles Sustainability Coalition.
TCA is the government agency responsible for planning, financing, constructing, maintaining, managing and operating the 51-mile toll road network in Orange County.
The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are two joint powers authorities formed by the California legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s public toll road system. Fifty-one miles of the system are complete, including the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads. TCA continues to meet the region’s growing need for congestion-free transportation alternatives.