Rep. Christopher Cox

U.S. House of Representatives

A Tribute to Walter D. Kreutzen on His Retirement

November 16, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a Californian whose dedication to the betterment of southern California has never wavered. Wally Kreutzen, retiring this month, will leave behind a remarkable legacy: A 51-mile network of toll roads he helped to propose, finance and build.

Wally has over 30 years of combined public and private sector experience. He started his professional career working for a major U.S. oil company, and transitioned to the public sector where he worked for the citizens of Costa Mesa and Irvine.

In 1989, Wally began as executive vice president--Finance and Administration for the Transportation Corridor Agencies, TCA, joint powers agencies charged with building new urban toll roads in Orange County. In that role, he coordinated the development of the initial plans of finance for the Foothill/Eastern and San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridors, which resulted in the issuance of over $2.7 billion in toll revenue bonds. Wally made it a priority to rely on alternative financing methods to build highways instead of relying on State and Federal gasoline taxes--the first time such innovative methods had ever been used in California.

In 1997, Wally was appointed chief operating officer of the TCA, and in January 1999, he became chief executive officer. He has been responsible for all planning, construction, financing, and operations associated with the Foothill, Eastern and San Joaquin Hills toll roads, used by 290,000 drivers every day--and saving them an estimated 21 minutes per trip.

Wally has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and a masters degree in Public Administration from California State University, Fullerton. He is a former instructor for the University of California Irvine. He is active in a number of organizations dealing with public/private transportation partnerships and with the funding and maintenance of public infrastructure.

On behalf of my colleagues, let me join the many friends, coworkers and admirers in wishing Wally Kreutzen nothing but the best in his retirement. He leaves behind an enormously positive legacy for Orange County's residents.

See the original in the Congressional Record on Page E1984

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