Media & Public Relations

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Carl DeFebo
Manager, Media & Public Relations
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Desk (717) 920-7176

July 25 , 2007


Pa. Turnpike Commission Appoints New Chief Engineer

York resident brings 37 years experience in transportation industry.


HARRISBURG, PA (07/25/07) - The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has named Frank J. Kempf Jr., P.E., as its new chief engineer to lead the commission’s engineering design and construction departments. As chief engineer, Kempf, a York, Pa. resident, will direct all engineering and construction activities across the 537-mile toll road system, overseeing a staff of 170 engineering and construction personnel across the commonwealth and administering a capital spending program in excess of $500 million annually.

“Frank assumes this vital post at a time of great change for the commission, most notably is the recently passed ‘public-public’ partnership between the Turnpike and PennDOT which includes a charge from the general assembly to collect a toll on Interstate 80 to fund Pennsylvania highways,” said Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier. “He will be responsible to advance the construction of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and Southern Beltway projects nearPittsburgh as well as the Turnpike’s link to I-95 outside Philadelphia. He’ll also be tasked to continue a vigorous program of total roadway reconstruction on our highway, which will turn 67 years old on Oct. 1.”

Kempf, who has more than 37 years public and private-sector experience in the highway-building industry, most recently served as the Turnpike’s assistant chief engineer for design. Before that, he was assistant chief engineer for development projects and programs, where he was responsible to direct the design of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and Southern Beltway expansion projects in southwestern Pennsylvania. He came to the Turnpike Commission in 1986 as assistant bridge engineer and was later promoted to head bridge engineer.

“I know that Frank has the experience, expertise and ability needed to lead the critical engineering and construction divisions here at the turnpike, both today and into the future,” Brimmeier added. “The commissioners and I are certain that Frank is the best person to fill the chief engineer’s job, and I look forward to continuing an already strong affiliation with him and the rest of his department.”

Before joining the Turnpike, Kempf worked at various bridge-engineering positions for PennDOT Dist. 6 (Philadelphia area) from 1970-1979 and at the York, Pa., based engineering-consulting firm Buchart Horn Inc. from 1979 to 1986. At Buchart-Horn, Kempf was involved in bridge-design and construction projects in six different states plus Pennsylvania. Kempf, a New Cumberland, Pa. native and 1966 graduate of Trinity High School, holds a bachelor of civil engineering degree and a master of civil engineering degree — both from Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.

“I’m honored to be appointed to the job of chief engineer, and I look forward to buckling down to tackle the myriad challenges we face in the transportation industry — especially in highway building, operation and maintenance,” Kempf said. “Fortunately, having a first-rate, dedicated staff of professional engineers, construction experts and support personnel allows us to realistically take on these challenges.”

Kempf steps into the position following the departure of Alexander Jansen, who retired last week after serving more than 10 years in the position of chief engineer. “My predecessor did an absolutely terrific job in how he artfully managed the projects and, equally as important, the people here at the commission,” Kempf said. “Al set a high standard in developing working relationships with not only staff people, senior executives and commissioners, but also in dealings with outside contractors, consultants, legislators, motorists and others — an approach I hope to continue during my tenure.”

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission operates and maintains 537 miles of toll roads in the state. It oversees 60 fare-collection facilities, 20 service plazas and 26 maintenance facilities. With 2,300 employees, it generates $615 million in annual toll revenue from 185.4 million vehicles a year. Known as “America’s First Superhighway,” it opened Oct. 1, 1940. To learn more, visit