STATE TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES HIS DEPARTURE
HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today announced state Department of Transportation (DOT) Director Brennon Morioka has accepted a job as executive vice president of Shioi Construction, Inc., in Pearl City. His last day at the DOT will be Thursday, Sept. 23. Morioka has been with the DOT since 2005, when he served as Highways Division deputy director. In 2007, Governor Lingle appointed him director to oversee and manage the state’s 15 airports, 10 commercial harbors and approximately 2,500 lane miles of roadway across Hawai‘i.
“Serving as the DOT director has been both an honor and a privilege,” said Morioka. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most dedicated and talented people in the state, and been a part of a team that believes that we can make a difference in improving the quality of life and safety for the people of Hawai‘i.”
Under his leadership, the Airports Division implemented a $2.3 billion Airports Modernization Plan that will increase efficiencies, enhance airport security and improve the traveler experience. The Harbors Division is also moving forward on a $618 million Harbors Modernization Plan, which is highly significant since Hawai‘i imports 80 percent of all goods consumed and 98 percent of these goods enters the state’s harbors. Morioka also spent the past two legislative sessions advocating for a $4 billion Highways Modernization Plan for a much-needed upgrade to the state’s roadway system.
Some of the most notable projects during Morioka’s tenure include: the completion of Haleakala Highway and Mokulele Highway projects and the groundbreaking of Lahaina Bypass on Maui; the completion of Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway, Phase 1, and the groundbreaking of Phase 2 on the Big Island; the opening of Kualakai Parkway (North-South Road), completion of the Fort Weaver Road widening and Pu‘uloa Road resurfacing projects, the implementation of the PM Contraflow Lane and Middle Street Merge widening projects, the construction of Kapolei Interchange, the launch of the Freeway Service Patrol and GoAkamai Traveler Information Website, and the opening of the new airport parking garage and international arrivals corridor on O‘ahu; and the groundbreaking of the Kaumuali‘i Highway Resurfacing Project and widening of Wailua Cane Haul Bridge and Kūhiō Highway on Kaua‘i.
“Brennon has been a visionary leader who has always focused on improving government efficiency and ultimately enhancing the quality of life for all the people of Hawai‘i,” said Governor Lingle. “He has earned the respect of his colleagues and staff as well as DOT’s federal, county, community and private sector partners. Brennon has been a trusted member of my cabinet and although we are sad to see him go, I am confident he will continue to bring a heightened level of leadership and integrity to all of his future endeavors.”
Over the years, Morioka has been recognized for his outstanding leadership, hard work and dedication to the engineering profession and the community. He was among Pacific Business News’ Forty Under Forty and also received numerous awards including the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Civil Government Award, Bike to Work Award, Complete Streets Hero Award and the State of Hawai‘i’s Young Engineer of the Year Award.
Morioka received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and is also an ‘Iolani School graduate. Morioka and his wife, Jeanine, have three young children (7-year-old daughter Taysia and 5-year-old twin boys Brayden and Bronson) for whom he credits his commitment to public service.
“This new position at Shioi Construction will be a great opportunity for me and my family,” said Morioka. “Along with my coworkers and staff, I also want to thank my family for standing alongside me during my tenure at the DOT and look forward to this next chapter together.”
“Brennon is an exceptionally competent professional and we are thrilled that he is joining the Shioi Construction team,” said Conrad Murashige, president, Shioi Construction.
Mike Formby, deputy director of the DOT Harbors Division, will serve as DOT’s acting director. Formby is a lawyer by training and prior to DOT, was the president and treasurer of Frame Formby and O’Kane, Attorneys at Law, where he was a senior litigation attorney. Formby has taught admiralty law as an adjunct professor at the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law, co-chaired the State of Hawai‘i Land Use Commission, served on the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority and is the current chair of the State of Hawai‘i Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF). Prior to his private civil law practice in Hawai‘i commencing in 1990, Formby was a contracting officer in the U.S. Air Force, negotiating aircraft and software procurements under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.