ICC project chief named to head SHA
Melinda Peters, the 38-year-old woman who has overseen construction of the $2.6 billion Intercounty Connector in suburban Washington, was named Thursday to head the State Highway Administration -- putting her in charge of an agency that is still recovering from a highly critical audit this summer.
The appointment by Gov. Martin O'Malley makes Peters the first woman to head a roughly $1 billion-a-year agency in a traditionally male profession. The announcement comes as the SHA is putting the final touches on the section of the ICC that completes the link between Interstates 270 and 95.
The highway is scheduled to open to traffic Tuesday morning. Completion of the section between Georgia Avenue and I-95 means the project is more than 90 percent complete, leaving only some feeder roads, landscaping and a final extension to U.S. 1.
Peters will succeed Neil J. Pedersen, who left the post in June just before the critical audit was issued, as permanent administrator. Deputy Secretary Darrell Mobley has been acting administrator in the interim.