Alviti to Succeed Lewis as RIDOT Director

AASHTO Journal, 20 February 2015

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has tapped Peter Alviti Jr. to be the next director of the Department of Transportation. Current Director and former AASHTO President Michael Lewis announced that he would resign effective Feb. 27.

PresLewis.jpg Lewis at the 2013 AASHTO annual meeting.

In addition, Raimondo said former New Jersey Transit executive Peter Garino has started as a deputy director at RIDOT, where he will “help ensure a smooth transition.”

The governor plans to submit Alviti’s name for consideration next week by the Rhode Island State Senate when it returns from a legislative break. Lewis became the RIDOT director in 2008.

Alviti was most recently director of programs for the Laborers International Union of North America – New England Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund. Earlier, he was director of public works for the city of Cranston, Rhode Island’s third-largest municipality.

Raimondo, who assumed office Jan. 6 after winning the governorship in the November election, described her views on transportation policy.

“Building and investing in a 21st Century infrastructure puts Rhode Islanders to work in construction jobs, and is a key part of attracting companies to invest here and encouraging our existing businesses to expand and grow.” She said Alviti “will build on the groundwork Mike has laid to help improve our state’s roads and bridges. He is committed to enhancing the organization’s mission of delivering a safe, modern, and efficient transportation network for the state.”

Alviti said: “DOT connects our state from Woonsocket to Westerly. “I look forward to enacting the governor’s transportation agenda, which will position our state for growth and create jobs.”

Garino, who lives in Providence, was chief of capital programming and administration for NJ Transit from 2003 to 2015, where he oversaw more than 400 projects with a value over $25 billion.

The governor’s office also said that “as the governor works to make state government more innovative, this new leadership team at RIDOT will be focused on finding ways to deliver projects more quickly and at a lower cost. This may include embracing alternate innovative methods for delivering projects, such as having the same company both design and build a project (Design-Build) or having a construction manager commit to a guaranteed project timeline and price (Construction-Manager-At-Risk).”

At AASHTO, Lewis has chaired the Standing Committee on Highways since October 2013.

When he began his year-long term as AASHTO president in November 2012, Lewis said his focus in leading AASHTO would include deployment of new technologies, implementation of reforms in that year’s “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21) and leading AASHTO’s effort to pass the next surface transportation reauthorization bill.

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