Earl J. "Buddy" Croft III took office as the 2016 president of The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA). Croft was elected president for a one-year term by the IBTTA’s international membership at its 2015 annual meeting in September. Croft is the executive director of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) in Jamestown.
"I am delighted to assume the helm of this organization at this pivotal time in transportation history," Croft said. "In the United States, we are at a crossroads where the country’s building and repair needs for it roads, bridges and tunnels are colliding with significantly reduced transportation budgets, both on the federal and state levels. IBTTA plays an important role in providing solutions to address these challenges here and abroad and I look forward to addressing these transportation issues as president."
Since 2006, Croft has led a statewide team responsible for finance, operations and maintenance of Rhode Island’s four largest bridges in Aquidneck Island, according to IBTTA. This included the Newport Pell Bridge—the largest suspension bridge in New England. During Croft’s tenure, RITBA has spent nearly $180 million dollars maintaining and repairing its bridges to enhance safety.
"Buddy is the perfect leader to serve as president of IBTTA at this critical time," said Patrick D. Jones, executive director and CEO of IBTTA. "Under his leadership, Buddy has modernized Rhode Island's tolling operation by introducing the E-ZPass system and Open Road Tolling for motorists. He brings to IBTTA a tremendous level of experience and leadership in transportation and tolling."
During his tenure at RITBA, Croft has made safety a primary focus. One of his proudest accomplishments to date is the installation of a median barrier on the bridge deck of the Newport Pell Bridge, a $6 million dollar building project whose aim was to reduce the number of crossover accidents and enhance safety for all motorists.
“We are fortunate to have Buddy elected President of IBTTA,” said Stephen C. Waluk, chairman of the RITBA board. “It is a tremendous achievement and his involvement with IBTTA will serve Rhode Island well as we strive to maintain the integrity and safety of RITBA’s four bridges - the Newport Pell, the Jamestown Verrazzano, the Mount Hope, and the Sakonnet River Bridges.”