City mourns loss of public works director


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

Richard arrived at the City in January 2020 as part of the restructuring of the Public Works / Streets / Stormwater Department. During his stay here, Richard developed:

  • The city’s first five-year rolling infrastructure management (IPM) program that has rehabilitated 148 residential streets, collectors and arteries across the city to date, repairing 114 miles of street repair lanes.
  • Development of a strong street sweeping program for the first time in the city’s history
  • Transfer and consolidation of stormwater functions from two other City departments for better realignment of services.
  • Implementation of an internal street rehabilitation program creating two teams to carry out the reconstruction of the streets themselves by increasing the work of our partners in the private sector
  • Creation of a pothole repair improvement program
  • Supervised the current rehabilitation of Ocean Drive from IH37 to Ennis Joslin (14 miles)
  • Implementation of the Vision Zero pedestrian safety initiative

Prior to coming to the city, Richard was deputy director of transportation and public works for the city of Fort Worth. He also worked for the City of San Antonio as Director of Public Works Operations.

Richard had a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and was working to complete his Masters in Business Administration.

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

“I would like to express my deep sadness for the loss of the director of our street, Richard Martinez,” said Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo. “Richard has been a transformational leader in advancing the progress of our street service and our city owes him a sincere debt of gratitude. I am grateful that I called Richard my colleague and my friend. He was a brilliant and honorable member of the team that our city will always remember. My family and I offer our prayers for Richard, his beloved wife Mabelita Castellanos de Alba, his beloved daughter and the whole Martinez family. We deeply mourn this great loss.

“Our municipal team is devastated by the death of Richard. He was a true and inspiring leader who instilled confidence in his teammates who have spent the past two years rebuilding our public works functions for Corpus Christi, ”said City Manager Peter Zanoni. “We viewed Richard not as a manager, but as a lovely friend. He was someone everyone wanted to engage with. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and the friends he made over the years in Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Fort Worth.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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