Gov. M. Jodi Rell last week announced her nomination of Joseph Marie as the new commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, effective in June.

Marie currently serves as director of operations and maintenance for METRO, Phoenix’s regional public transportation system. The nomination will need to gain legislative approval.

“Joe not only understands the vital importance of building a comprehensive and integrated system of transportation infrastructure and services, he has spent his career implementing and managing those systems,” Rell said in a press release.

The state at the end of March approved $75 million of special tax obligation bonds to help finance roadway and bridge upgrades through Connecticut’s Fix-It-First program. The $75 million will repair nine bridges and rehabilitate five major roads throughout the state.

Before working on public transit in Phoenix, Marie was assistant general manager of operations for Metro Transit in Minneapolis. He has also held senior transit positions in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. In the private sector, Marie has worked for Bombardier Transportation and Siemens, both rail equipment manufacturers.

The Massachusetts native received his bachelors degree in economics from Merrimack College and a masters in public administration from Pennsylvania State University. .

Marie’s 22 years of public and private sector experience with mass transit will assist him in his new position as Connecticut looks toward expanding its public transportation system to help boost economic development and address road congestion.

“Joe will implement a transportation strategy that recognizes the vital importance of mass transit, smart growth, transit-oriented development, and the critical role of all forms of transportation in the maintenance and growth of our economy,” Rell said.

The Connecticut DOT has 3,200 employees that oversee the construction and maintenance of the state’s major roads, highways, and bridges and the state’s public transportation system.

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