There’s a new boss at the state agency overseeing roads, airports and ferries.
Gov. Bill Walker on Friday named Marc Luiken as his commissioner of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.
Luiken served in the same post from 2010 to 2012 under Gov. Sean Parnell. He’s a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who also worked on oil production with ConocoPhillips.
Walker says he liked Luiken’s approach the last time he was commissioner.
“He has somewhat of a shared vision I have, as far as what can be done in the Department of Transportation. I think there’s some more efficiencies we can do, do things differently than they’ve been done over the past,” he says.
Walker removed acting Commissioner Pat Kemp, a Parnell administration holdover, from the post Jan. 12.
Kemp and two other officials were told to resign after they released a report Walker said criticized his freeze of transportation megaprojects, including the Juneau Access Road.
Kemp said it was an informational report, not a challenge.
Walker says the new commissioner agrees with his decision to stop most work on the projects.
“We don’t want to be spending money we don’t need to spend while we’re looking at them. So, we are eye-to-eye on looking into all projects and making sure it makes sense to go forward,” he says.
Luiken’s appointment is one of the last needed to fill out Walker’s cabinet.