Stewart will succeed Gary Ridley, who serves as director of both the turnpike authority and the Oklahoma Transportation Commission. Ridley, who will retire from both positions March 31, will remain on the governor's Cabinet as secretary of transportation.
The turnpike authority and the Transportation Department, the 15th largest transportation agency in the country, will have separate directors, which is typical.
“It's important that a director can focus on the full attention of the agency and this will allow that to happen,” Ridley said.
Ridley has served as director of both agencies since 2009. Ridley's annual salary is $133,200; he doesn't receive compensation for his Cabinet position. In the 1990s, Neal McCaleb also served as director of the turnpike authority and the Transportation Department, as well as a Cabinet secretary of transportation.
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission is expected to name a new director for the Transportation Department at its March 4 meeting.