Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper named Michael Lewis to take over as executive director at the state Department of Transportation, as agency CEO Shailen Bhatt exits to head the Washington, D.C.-based trade association Intelligent Transportation Society of America.
Lewis has been CDOT’s deputy executive director and chief operating officer since 2015, and was formerly director of the Rhode Island DOT from 2008 until early 2015. He had also been president in 2012-13 of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
His experience with some of the biggest projects in our state is critical as we build upon the successes of the last few years,” the governor added. “I look forward to seeing his leadership as we embark on significant future projects.”
On Oct. 26, when announcing that Bhatt would leave CDOT in December, Hickenlooper had also said Lewis would then become interim director. But the governor settled on Lewis to become agency CEO even before Bhatt stepped down.
Hickenlooper noted that Lewis has also headed one of the nation’s largest highway construction efforts when he worked for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and directed its Central Artery/Tunnel project known as the “Big Dig.” Lewis was responsible for design, construction, administration and accountability of a $14.8 billion project, the announcement said.
“I’m honored to have the chance to work for Gov. Hickenlooper in this capacity and be part of this Cabinet,” said Lewis. “CDOT has an incredible opportunity in the next few years to address many of our safety and congestion problems, whether moving forward with very needed projects, continuing to improve the customer experience with a focus on the operations of our system, or advancing transportation technology through our RoadX Program.”