RIDOT hires chief of staff, seeks to create 14 new positions to manage bridge repair 'surge'
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Posted by: Brandi Williams
Posted February 2, 2016
Providence - Less than 24 hours after being entrusted with more than $500 million in new revenue over the next five years, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation Friday started the process of creating 14 new management positions intended to transform the agency and reverse decades of self-described poor performance.
Some of the new positions, which include chief operating officer and administrator of a newly created Division of Project Management, replace old positions that have or are being eliminated.
The salaries of the new positions range from $82,378 - $93,347 for a project manager to $141,259 - $155,564 for the chief operating officer and project management administrator.
Using the low end of the salary ranges, the combined cost of the new positions total $1,346,767. Using the high end, the total cost comes out to $1,511,543.
A public hearing on the new positions is scheduled for Feb. 19 and, if all goes according to plan, the department can begin the hiring process Feb. 21.
In addition to the new proposed positions, DOT officials Friday announced that the agency has hired Celia J. Blue, a former senior advisor at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and CEO of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, as chief of staff. Blue starts work Feb. 22.
The new hires are part of a plan by current DOT leadership to move the agency toward a "project management" organizational model in which each construction project will have its own manager leading it from conception to completion.
"The concept we are implementing is a big improvement over what has been done here for years," said DOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. Friday. "It is a sea change."