Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton will leave his post in the summer after seven years at the helm.
The agency has begun the search for a successor, with a spokesman saying he expected “a handover period” ahead of Mr Dalton’s departure.
Mr Dalton leaves as the Highways Agency is in the process of converting to a government-owned company, Highways England, with legislation set out in the Infrastructure Bill currently going through parliament.
Mr Dalton said: “Highways England, which will come into being in April following royal assent of the government’s Infrastructure Bill, will need a chief executive who can commit to delivering the first Roads Investment Strategy which runs to 2020.
“I will work with chairman Colin Matthews to ensure an orderly handover to my successor in the summer.”
Mr Dalton was previously director of projects, national networks at the Department for Transport, before taking the top job at the Highways Agency in June 2008.
He previously worked at Bovis Lend Lease Consulting and the Strategic Rail Authority.
Mr Matthews said: “Graham has led the Highways Agency to the point where we can confidently confront the fresh opportunities and challenges in the government’s Road Investment Strategy.
“I thank him warmly for all he has achieved during his successful tenure as CEO.”
The Roads Investment Strategy will see £15.2bn spent on upgrading England’s strategic road network by 2021.
The new go-co will be responsible for the delivery of more than 100 road schemes during the course of the next parliament.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I would like to thank Graham on behalf of the department for his sterling service both to the Highways Agency and the government.
“Over the past seven years Graham has worked tirelessly to oversee the delivery of vital upgrades on our strategic road network, including the dualling of the A11, the introduction of the Dart Charge and the smart motorway network, and improvements on the M25, M6 and M62.
“A road network that is safe, well-constructed and keeps Britain moving is vital to a growing economy.
“Graham will be handing over an organisation that has the interests of motorists right at its heart.”