Colorado’s P3 agency head departs

Michael Cheroutes, who has served as director of HPTE since it was founded in 2010, is leaving to establish his own P3 consultancy.

After five years of heading the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), the government agency operating within Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) and tasked with finding innovative ways to finance major transportation projects, Michael Cheroutes is leaving the agency he helped create to head his own public-private partnership (PPP; P3) consultancy.

A project finance lawyer who worked for 17 years at Hogan Lovells, Cheroutes helped draft Colorado’s Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery Act of 2009 (FASTER), which made a number of important changes to the funding and operations of CDOT, including the formation of HPTE and the Colorado Bridge Enterprise.

According to the CDOT website, one of the key purposes of FASTER was to quickly generate funding for state roads and bridges lacking sufficient funding for repairs and safety improvements by establishing new or increasing existing vehicle registration fees and fines.

“We are fortunate Mike chose to share his talents with the HPTE as the Director,” CDOT executive director Shailen Bhatt said in a statement. “The US 36 Express Lanes are a national example of how leveraging a public-private partnership can deliver innovative critical multi-modal transportation systems that allow our economy to keep moving and growing.”

Cheroutes has established CC2I, to “pursue new opportunities as a public-private partnership consultant in Colorado, as well as nationally and internationally,” according to the statement.

He will begin his transition in October and will continue to serve in a temporary part-time role to assist with the Interstate 70 (I-70) East scheme, a $1.8 billion toll road project for which CDOT shortlisted four consortia at the end of July.

HPTE has posted the job vacancy on its website as it seeks to find a successor.