Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick Tuesday appointed Jeffrey Mullan as secretary and chief executive officer of the new Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which will begin overseeing most of the state’s surface transportation systems on Nov. 1.
Mullan is the current executive director of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. At the end of October, MassPike will cease to exist. Its operations, along with those of the current Department of Highways and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, will merge under the new MassDOT umbrella.
MassPike’s $2.2 billion of debt will become special obligations of MassDOT, yet still secured by tolls collected from the state’s two main toll roads.
Mullan, a key official in Massachusetts’ transportation reform plan, has been working on the transition process. Beginning Nov. 1, he will manage MassDOT’s four divisions: Highway, Transit, Aeronautics, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. He will also craft transportation policy and planning. The secretary-CEO position does not hold a chair on MassDOT’s five-member board. Patrick has yet to announce his board member selections.
“Jeff brings a critical commitment to reform and high level of expertise to the table,” Patrick said in a press release. “He possesses the vision and know-how we need to effectively lead a unified transportation organization that eliminates waste, saves taxpayer dollars, and improves the delivery of transportation services across our commonwealth.”
Current state Transportation Secretary Jim Aloisi last week announced that he would not seek the top MassDOT position. His current position will cease to exist on Nov. 1.