Murphy to nominate O’Connor to succeed Gutierrez-Scaccetti as commissioner of DOT

Francis O’Connor, who began his work career as toll collector on the New Jersey Turnpike, appears to have received the ultimate promotion Friday, when he was nominated to serve as the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

O’Connor’s nomination follows the transition of current DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti to her new role as chief of staff to Gov. Phil Murphy last September.

O’Connor currently serves as director of national tolls and a principal project director at Atkins, an Edison-based engineering company where he has worked since 2011. Prior to that, he was vice president of operations at Electronic Transaction Consultants in Ewing.

Murphy said Friday he was pleased to make the announcement.

“With more than four decades of experience working within transportation agencies across the country, Fran is immensely qualified to advance my administration’s efforts to continue building a transportation system that is more modern and more accessible than ever before,” he said.

“As a New Jersey resident and former New Jersey Turnpike Authority employee, Fran shares my commitment to safe, efficient transportation for all New Jersey residents and commuters.”

O’Connor said he was pleased to have the opportunity.

“I am excited to be able to help implement the governor’s transportation vision for New Jersey and to build on the great work that Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti has done over the past six years for transportation in our state,” he said.

Gutierrez-Scaccetti applauded the appointment.

“It has been an honor to lead the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the past six years,” she said. “I am turning the reins over to an extraordinary transportation leader in Fran O’Connor, who will continue to advance NJDOT’s important mission.”