Minneapolis soon will be on the hunt for a new leader of its Public Works Department.

Steve Kotke, the department's director, plans to step down from the position in 2016, the city announced on Wednesday. Kotke has worked for the city for 27 years, including about a decade as director and city engineer.

Among his department's major projects over the last several years: the light rail's Green Line, development at Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium and planning for future projects like the Orange Line and a streetcar project.

In a statement, Mayor Betsy Hodges said she had planned to reappoint Kotke to another two-year term because of his "superb" leadership.

"He assembled a great team of managers and transformed the department from one with many challenges into one that benefits residents tremendously," she said.

Council Member Kevin Reich noted Kotke's efforts on issues ranging from water quality improvements to bike lanes and recycling, which he said have "positioned Public Works and the city to meet the challenge of the future and continue to reap national and international recognition."

Minneapolis has added more than 100 miles of bikeways over the last decade and implemented a one-sort recycling program and a new organics recycling program.

ERIN GOLDEN