AASHTO Journal, 9 January 2015
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Shailen Bhatt will take over in mid-February as executive director for the Colorado Department of Transportation, leaving his current post as Delaware’s transportation secretary.
Bhatt will replace Don Hunt as the top official at CDOT. Hunt announced early in November that he would leave office after Hickenlooper found a new agency CEO.
The governor said Hunt will remain through February to assist CDOT with the transition, and then return to Antero Co., the project development and advisory firm Hunt headed before helming CDOT.
Bhatt has been cabinet secretary at the Delaware DOT since July 2011. He was formerly an associate administrator at the Federal Highway Administration in Washington, D.C., and before that was deputy executive director with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
He also chairs the I-95 Corridor Coalition, is on the Executive Committee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and is president of the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials.
Hickenlooper said Bhatt “is a known consensus builder who can continue to build the alliances and the transportation system Colorado needs to support our state’s economy and people’s lives.” He also said Bhatt’s “experience in disaster recovery, transportation planning and innovative project delivery will help build on the successes that Don Hunt has led to improve safety and congestion on our roadways.”
Hunt had led CDOT as it responded to heavy damages from flooding and landslides that struck in September 2013.
But Hickenlooper said Hunt’s management of that response was just one of many accomplishments that included improved cash management to pay for more infrastructure repairs and a widening of twin Rocky Mountain tunnels on Interstate 70.
Besides working at Antero, the governor said Hunt will continue his involvement in emerging technologies including connected vehicles and automation. Hunt will also become a senior fellow and lecturer in transportation and infrastructure with the Buechner Institute for Governance at the University of Colorado-Denver.