As you know, the department has played a key role the past several years in supporting private industry and academia in the development and testing of connected and automated vehicles.
Building on that commitment, I am pleased to announce that Mark Chaput, MDOT deputy director of Field Services, has accepted a special assignment to represent MDOT and the State of Michigan on the staff of the American Center for Mobility (ACM) until further notice.
The ACM, a nonprofit testing and product development facility for future mobility, is the resurrection of Willow Run. I cannot overstate the literal and symbolic significance of transforming what was the Arsenal of Democracy into a space that will nurture and boost our state’s signature industry as it evolves at a rapid pace.
The ACM is a joint initiative among State of Michigan offices, including MDOT and the Michigan Economic Development Corp., along with the University of Michigan, Business Leaders for Michigan, and Ann Arbor SPARK. As Gov. Snyder said at the ACM groundbreaking last month, “This world-class facility will put Michigan at the forefront of the autonomous movement to ensure we lead the way as the auto industry transforms into the mobility industry.”
Mark has been a valuable leader of the MDOT team working to provide the infrastructure to support the ACM. Because of that and his broad and diverse experience in the department, he is the right person to take on this unique challenge.
Holding a number of key positions during his 30-year career at MDOT, Mark has spent the last five-and-a-half years running the day-to-day operations of the Field Services Bureau as the deputy director, where the focus has been on improving customer service and statewide alignment for the field services functions. Prior to that, he was the University Region engineer for eight years, overseeing the 10-county region in central mid-Michigan.
Mark has successfully managed local relations and industry partnerships, leading to the development of some unique projects, including the US-24/I-94 arch bridge and single-point urban interchange (SPUI) in Wayne County, the interchange roundabouts at US-23 and Lee Road in Livingston County, and I-94 corridor planning through Jackson. He has been a contributing member of the Region Bureau Management Team and the department’s Leadership Team for the past 13-and-a-half years, where he has sponsored a number of statewide initiatives.
Mark will bring his diverse experience with him and will be a valuable contributor to the overall development and operation of the ACM. He will manage the build-out and construction of this cutting-edge connected and autonomous vehicle test facility and will ensure effective coordination with the MDOT public roadway components. Mark will also assist in the identification and design of the on-site intelligent transportation systems (ITS) infrastructure and the associated communications integration.
Please join me in congratulating Mark on this unique opportunity.