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Peter Mills stepping down as executive director in September

Maine Turnpike Authority Logo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2024
Erin Courtney
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)

Peter Mills stepping down as executive director in September

Nationwide search will be conducted for next executive director

After a long and distinguished career in public service benefiting the citizens of Maine, Peter Mills has announced that he will be stepping down as executive director of Maine Turnpike Authority in September.

Peter was born in Farmington and grew up in Gorham, Maine, as the oldest of five siblings. After graduating with honors from Harvard University, he served five years in the Navy, completing three tours in Vietnam. Upon returning to Maine, Peter enrolled in the University of Maine School of Law, graduating second in the Class of 1973.

With his Juris Doctorate, Peter practiced law in Skowhegan and Portland, handling major civil cases and focusing on resolving a wide range of legal disputes, including personal injury, divorce, and workers’ compensation claims.

In 1994, Peter began his 16-year tenure in the Maine Legislature, serving in both the House and Senate. During this period, he drafted significant legislation on tax, education, and health policy. In March 2011, Peter was appointed Executive Director of Maine Turnpike Authority.

During his time as the Executive Director of the Authority, the open road toll facility in York was completed in 2021, and the Portland Area Widening project was completed last year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter was instrumental in keeping many Mainers on the job as the Authority continued work on the Portland Area Widening project, while many other construction jobs were at a standstill. Precautions were put in place, and the work continued. Additionally, the $40 million Saco Exit 35 project was designed, permitted, and construction started under Peter's leadership.

Peter’s 13 years with Maine Turnpike Authority, combined with his service in the Maine Legislature and his work in Maine’s legal system, represent an extraordinary commitment to public service. His contributions have benefited transportation, politics, education, civil service, community engagement, development, law, and government throughout the State of Maine.

At their June 27th meeting, Maine Turnpike Authority’s Board of Directors stated that a national search will be conducted for MTA’s next Executive Director. Details will be released when available. The Board also appointed Chief Operations Officer Peter Merfeld to serve as Acting Deputy Executive Director, effective immediately.

Mr. Merfeld is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Maine with 34 years of experience, including 27 years with MTA. Since 2000, he has served as Chief Operations Officer, overseeing 165 employees in the Maintenance, Engineering, Construction, Public Safety, and Service Plaza Operations for the 110-mile toll road.

Mr. Merfeld has been active with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), serving in local leadership positions, including President in 2006, and for the past 17 years as Chair of the Maine Section ASCE Report Card committee. He served on ASCE’s Committee for America’s Infrastructure from 2009 to 2017 and on ASCE’s Construction Institute Claims Avoidance and Resolution Committee from 2005 to 2010. In October 2024, he will begin a three-year term as a Region 1 Governor for ASCE.

Since 2019, Mr. Merfeld has been active in the Transportation Working Group for Governor Mills’ Climate Council. He is a past Board Director for the Maine Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCMaine), serving from 2003 to 2012. He has also been very active with the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), serving seven years as a Board Director (2009-2016) and completing a 40-hour leadership training program in 2010.

Mr. Merfeld holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, an MBA from Thomas College in Waterville, Maine, and has attended executive programs at Harvard and MIT.