SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The head of California’s $64 billion high-speed rail project, Jeff Morales, is stepping down after five years of pushing forward a project, which still faces stiff resistance from lawmakers and the public, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

According to the Chronicle, Morales said that uncertainty over the project’s future had nothing to do with his resignation, only a genuine desire to move aside after breaking ground on the nation’s largest infrastructure project.

“It has been a true honor to be a part of this important and historic program. I am very proud of the progress we have made in advancing the nation’s first high-speed rail system, against the odds and in spite of all the obstacles,” Morales said in a letter sent today to Gov. Jerry Brown and the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s staff and board of directors. “We have 119 miles of construction underway through three major design-build contracts. To date, the project has supported thousands of jobs, put almost a thousand tradesmen and women to work, and injected upwards of $4 billion into California’s economy.” 

“Jeff was instrumental at a crucial point in time and led California’s High-Speed Rail project through a very challenging period,” said Gov. Brown. “His dedicated and skillful leadership is exactly what was needed.”

Morales was named CEO in May 2012 and will work closely with the authority’s board to ensure the smooth transition of a successor. The authority’s board of directors is expected to meet in the coming weeks to consider candidates before Morales officially departs on June 2, 2017.  For the full story, click here.

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