City Mourns Loss of Public Works Director

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - The City of Corpus Christi is saddened to announce that Public Works Director Richard Martinez suddenly passed away on Friday, August 27. He was an important part of the City of Corpus Christi and will be greatly missed.

Richard came to the City in January 2020 as part of the restructuring of the Public Works/Streets/Storm Water Department. During his time here Richard developed:

  • The City’s first five-year Rolling Infrastructure Management Program (IPM) which has rehabilitated 148 city residential streets, collectors, and arterial roadways citywide to date, repairing 114 lane miles of street repairs.
  • Developed a robust street sweeping program for the first time in the City’s history
  • Transferred and consolidated storm water functions from two other City departments for improved realignment of services.
  • Established an in-house Street Rehabilitation Program creating two teams to self-perform street rebuilding augmenting work of our private sector partners
  • Created a Pothole Repair Improvement Program
  • Oversaw the current rehabilitation of Ocean Drive from IH37 to Ennis Joslin (14 miles)
  • Implemented the pedestrian safety initiative Vision Zero

Before coming to the City, Richard was the Assistant Transportation and Public Works Director for the City of Fort Worth. He also worked for the City of San Antonio as the Public Works Operations Manager.

Richard held a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of the Incarnate Word and was working to complete his Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Richard was born in Pleasanton, Texas. He leaves behind a wife, Mabelita Castellanos de Alba, several children, and grandchildren. He was 56 years old.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt sorrow over the loss of our Street’s Director, Richard Martinez,” Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo said. “Richard was a transformational leader in moving forward progress for our street’s department and our city owes him a sincere debt of gratitude. I am grateful to have called Richard my colleague and my friend. He was a brilliant and honorable team member who will always be remembered by our city. My family and I offer our prayers for Richard, his loving wife Mabelita Castellanos de Alba, his beloved daughter, and the entire Martinez family. We deeply mourn this great loss.”

“Our City team is devastated by the passing of Richard. He was a true and inspirational leader who instilled confidence in his teammates who have spent the past two years rebuilding our public works functions for Corpus Christi,” City Manager Peter Zanoni said. “We looked at Richard not as a department head but as a lovable friend. He was someone everyone wanted to engage with. We will miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and his friends he has made over the years in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Fort Worth.  

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Richard Martinez