Charlotte, N.C. mayor Anthony Foxx was nominated Monday by President Barack Obama to become the US’s 17th secretary of transportation, replacing Ray LaHood, the former Republican congressman from Illinois who has served as head of the US Dept. of Transportation for over four years.

In an announcement at the White House, Obama, LaHood and Foxx all cited the mayor’s efforts during his three-and-a-half years in office to improve Charlotte’s transportation infrastructure, including expanding Charlotte Douglas International Airport by opening a fourth runway costing more than $300 million in 2010. “We must work together across party lines to enhance this nation’s infrastructure,” Foxx said.

Obama called Foxx “one of the most effective mayors that Charlotte’s ever seen,” saying, “The city has managed to turn things around” economically over the last several years. “I hope that the Senate confirms him quickly,” Obama said.

LaHood said serving as transportation secretary was the “final chapter” of his public career and highlighted “a lot of time spent on safety” during his tenure, particularly pointing to efforts to tackle the “distracted driving … epidemic” in the age of cell phones and texting.

Airlines for America (A4A) president and CEO Nicholas Calio said in a statement, “As an elected leader of a hub market, Mayor Foxx understands well how important airlines are to jobs and the economy. A4A urges quick Senate confirmation, and looks forward to working with him to address policy and infrastructure challenges that impede airlines from competing globally and achieving sustained profitability.”

Foxx is not expected to face a difficult Senate confirmation process.