Hickenlooper Names Lewis Interim Director at Colorado DOT as Bhatt Departs
DENVER, CO Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper named Michael Lewis as Interim Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, as he announced that Executive Director Shailen Bhatt was leaving to become President of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.
Lewis, who has been CDOT's Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer since 2015, had been 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.
Earlier, Lewis had been an engineer with the Massachusetts Highway Department, before joining the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and directing its Central Artery/Tunnel project known as the "Big Dig."
Hickenlooper, who appointed Bhatt to head CDOT starting in February 2015, said that his "innovation and drive has pushed the Department of Transportation to work tirelessly to stand up a transportation network that can meet the needs of Colorado. We wish him the best and can only say 'watch out' as he brings his expertise and creativity to a new set of challenges."
The governor's announcement said that while Bhatt headed the department, CDOT "successfully achieved a series of transportation upgrades that have enhanced travel throughout the state."
Those include, it said, opening express lanes on US 36, Interstate 70 Mountain and I-25 North to improve travel times by 20 percent to 50 percent in those corridors.
CDOT also launched the "Bustang" interregional bus service connecting Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, and Colorado Springs to Denver, a service that "has quadrupled ridership since launch and has a more than 50 percent fare box recovery."