updated 9/5/2006 12:10:47 PM ET 2006-09-05T16:10:47

President Bush has chosen Mary Peters, a former federal highway administrator, to succeed Norman Mineta as secretary of transportation, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

Peters spent three years directing the Arizona Department of Transportation where she worked her way up through the ranks during a 16-year career there. Since November, Peters has been national director for transportation policy and consulting in the Phoenix office of Omaha-based architectural, engineering and consulting firm HDR Inc.

Peters, who was chief of the Federal Highway Administration from 2001 to 2005, fills a Cabinet seat left open when Mineta left the job in July after six years on the job. Bush wanted to announce his choice as the Senate returned from its August recess so the confirmation process could begin.

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