Mehdi Morshed, the executive director of the California High Speed Rail Authority, is stepping down at the end of March. On Jan. 7, Mr. Morshed, 72, sent his resignation letter to the board of the agency in charge of building a high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
Mr. Morshed has spent the last 11 years heading the rail authority. For much of that time, the high-speed rail project was in danger of being shut down, he said in his letter.
"During the past 11 years, the project was declared dead many times. Annually, we were prepared to close the office," he wrote.
Despite the delays, Mr. Morshed said that there is no doubt in his mind that California will soon have the first state-of-the-art high speed rail service in the nation. The passage of Proposition 1A, the $9 billion bond to fund part of the high-speed rail project, as well as President Barack Obama's support of national high-speed rail projects, will assure the construction of California's rail line, he wrote.
With his goal accomplished, he is stepping down and ending his 46-year career in public service, he said.
"For me, the past 11 years have been filled with frustration and exhilaration. Yet I would not trade it for anything else in this world," Mr. Morshed wrote.