LONG BEACH - As construction activity intensifies, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) Governing Board has created new positions to strengthen administrative oversight.
The Board acted today to create the position of Chief Executive Officer and add to the duties of another administrator. Last month, the Board initiated a search for a director of construction and engineering.
"These changes are necessary and a positive step forward for the Alameda Corridor project," said Los Angeles City Councilman Rudy
Svorinich, Jr., chairman of the ACTA Governing Board. "Our intention always has been to strengthen ACTA's management team as construction activity intensifies. We're at that critical stage right now, with the Board's recent decision to begin negotiations with
Tutor-Saliba for the Mid-Corridor contract."
ACTA has hired Long Beach City Manager Jim Hankla as its Chief Executive Officer. Hankla is recognized as one of the top public administrators in the state. Starting immediately, he will oversee all financial and administrative matters, strategic planning and policy issues.
Gill V. Hicks, General Manager of ACTA since 1990, gains the additional title of Chief Operating Officer. He will continue to oversee day-to-day operations and engineering and contract management for the joint powers agency building the Alameda Corridor rail cargo expressway.
The personnel decisions were announced today after the ACTA Governing Board voted in a special executive session. The Long Beach City Council had previously approved changes to Hankla"s contract allowing his work for ACTA.
Hankla, 58, is a career civil servant who has been Long Beach City Manager for 11 years. He also served as Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Officer from 1985 to 1987. A native of Louisville, he earned a bachelor's degree in political science from California State University, Long Beach, and a master's degree in government and urban affairs from California State University, Los Angeles. He had announced in July that he would be leaving the Long Beach post at the end of the year to pursue other opportunities.
"The Alameda Corridor is critical to the economic future of Southern California and the rest of the nation, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work on this important project," Hankla said. "The ACTA Governing Board and staff have done a fine job developing the program and initiating construction, and I look forward to building on their successes."
Hicks, 49, has touted the importance of the Alameda Corridor since 1984, when he authored a key Southern California Association of Governments study outlining the need for the project. Hicks has a master"s degree from
M.I.T. in transportation engineering.
"I'm proud of the work we've done to bring the project to this important juncture," Hicks said. "But there are many challenges ahead, and I intend to work diligently and cooperatively to ensure successful completion of the Alameda Corridor."
Svorinich, the board chairman, said: "We have been fortunate to have Gill's leadership and technical skills since the inception of the project, and Jim brings extensive, proven administrative experience that will be a significant benefit. They will be a formidable management team."
ACTA is building a 20-mile-long railroad cargo expressway linking the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the rail switching yards just east of downtown Los Angeles. It will speed the flow of cargo and ease vehicle traffic congestion by consolidating railroad tracks and eliminating crossings where rail and street traffic intersect at the same level. Construction on various portions of the project began in April 1997. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2001.