The executive director of the state agency trying to build a bridge across Knik Arm has stepped down after suffering serious injuries in a motorcycle crash that happened over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a spokeswoman for the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority.
Andrew Niemiec crashed the motorcycle while on vacation in California, spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy said. He is focusing on his recovery and told the KABATA board on Dec. 11 that he was resigning, effective Monday. She didn't have additional information about the crash or his injuries. He is still in California, McCarthy said.
Niemiec had been the top staff member of KABATA since May 2007 and before that worked for the Department of Transportation.
Board chairman Mike Foster appointed Judy Dougherty, an engineer who had been serving as the authority's deputy over project development, to serve as acting executive director. She began working for the authority in 2011 after 20 years with the DOT.
The KABATA board of directors will decide on a permanent replacement.
Niemiec's unexpected departure comes at a critical time for the agency. The legislative session begins next month and KABATA is trying to secure funding to build the bridge.
Reach Lisa Demer at email@example.com or 257-4390.
By LISA DEMER