The public agency building the Alameda Corridor rail cargo expressway on Thursday made two personnel moves, extending the contract of its Chief Executive Officer and naming a 23-year industry veteran as Director of Construction and Engineering.
The Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) Governing Board voted to extend the contract of CEO James C. Hankla through the end of 1999.
Hankla, who retires as Long Beach City Manager at the end of this year, has been serving as part-time CEO for ACTA since August, overseeing all financial and administrative matters, strategic planning and policy issues.
The board also appointed Timothy B. Buresh, P.E. to the newly created position of Director of Construction and Engineering.
Buresh, who starts work Dec. 1, will oversee all engineering design and construction firms hired by ACTA serving as an owner's representative to ensure work is delivered on time and on budget.
"These two personnel moves strengthen our management team as construction activity picks up dramatically and are a terrific step forward for the Alameda Corridor project," said Los Angeles City Councilman Rudy
Svorinich, Jr., chairman of the ACTA Governing Board. "We have been exceptionally pleased with Mr. Hankla's performance, and we are delighted to have someone with Mr. Buresh's large-project experience join us as work begins in earnest on the Mid-Corridor Trench."
ACTA, a joint partnership between the cities and ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, is building a 20-mile-long railroad cargo expressway from the ports to the transcontinental rail yards near downtown Los Angeles. The $2.4 billion project, scheduled for completion in early 2002, will speed the flow of cargo and reduce traffic congestion by eliminating more than 200 street-level railroad crossings.
The Governing Board created the both positions earlier this year in preparation for full-scale engineering and construction activities. The first major structure of the project, a three-track bridge over the Los Angeles River, was dedicated earlier this week and work on the 10-mile-long Mid-Corridor Trench, the project's biggest component, is set to begin in January.
"Mr. Buresh's credentials were superior in all respects to the candidates we evaluated," ACTA CEO Jim Hankla said. "His education and his experience are exceptional. I'm quite confident he will perform well in his oversight role as owner's representative."
Buresh, 44, is currently vice president of operations for Jacobs Engineering Group of Pasadena. He previously served in executive management positions with several other firms. He began his career in 1976 as a field engineer with Martin K. Eby Construction Co. of
Witchita, KS. He holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University of Denver, and he is a member of the California State Bar.
"I consider this the single most exciting transportation project in the United States, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work a project that from start to finish will be a credit to the entire region," Buresh said.
Hankla, 58, is recognized as one of the top public administrators in the state. He has served as Long Beach city manager for 11 years. He also served as Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Officer from 1985 to 1987.
A career civil servant, Hankla he was recently received the highest award for contribution to good government from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Chapter of the American Society of Public Administration. Previous recipients include many prominent figures, including former Governor and President Ronald Reagan, former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block and County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, a member of the ACTA Governing Board.