Mayor Hickenlooper Announced New Public Works Manager
Mayor John Hickenlooper held a news conference in his office Thursday to announce his appointee for Manager of Public Works.
The City of Denver’s Public Works Department is responsible for transportation planning, year-round road maintenance and repair, household trash collection and recycling services, construction management of streets, bridges, and public buildings, parking enforcement and management, engineering operations, sewage and storm drainage systems, and the overall protection of our urban environment.
“Public Works is one of the City’s most critical functions in terms of delivering the services that impact the community’s lives every single day,” Hickenlooper said. “Bill Vidal has that rare combination of genuine engineering know-how, proven management experience, and intuitive community relations and coalition-building skills. He is the complete package and the ideal person to lead Public Works into a new era of increased customer service, productivity and efficiency. He will be a strong leader in my Cabinet.”
Manager of Public Works: Guillermo “Bill” V. Vidal
A Colorado registered professional engineer, Guillermo “Bill” Vidal brings a diverse and acclaimed career of engineering and management experience to the City and County of Denver as its new Public Works Manager.
As Executive Director of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) since 1999, Vidal managed a $10 million annual operating budget and the distribution of more than $57 million in federal funds annually. At DRCOG, Vidal successfully restructured the organization to reduce bureaucracy and increase energy and participation. He built consensus among DRCOG’s 50 members (9 counties; 41 municipalities) to unanimously adopt the 20-Year Transportation Plan, which is the basis for all current and future regional transportation projects, and the Clean Water Plan, which is the basis for all current and future construction of utility and water treatment plants. During his tenure, he led the investment of over $40 million into regional projects such as the Central Platte Valley Light Rail Spur and Denver Union Station, and oversaw the signing of the Mile High Compact, an inter-governmental agreement amongst DRCOG members requiring them to work together to implement Metro Vision, the region’s comprehensive growth plan that integrates land use, transportation, open space and air quality issues.
Vidal spent 23 years with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), where he worked his way up from the position of Highway Design Engineer to eventually serving as the Executive Director under Governor Roy Romer for five years. Along the way, he held the positions of Senior Design Engineer, Pre-Construction Engineer, Deputy Branch Manager of Staff Design, Region II District Engineer, and Region IV Transportation Director.
Under his leadership as Executive Director, CDOT implemented a re-engineering effort of all project design and construction processes, completed the first statewide multi-modal transportation long-range plan in Colorado’s history, and established the first multi-modal mission statement and air quality policy in the department’s history. Vidal worked to accelerate funding and construction for critical projects throughout the state and testified before the U.S. Senate on issues related to ISTEA reauthorization.
Vidal is well known for his work in constructing many construction projects around the state, most notably the reconstruction of the I-25/I-70 Interchange (the Mousetrap), the construction of C-470, and the reconstruction and widening of North I-25 through Denver that included the HOV lanes. Among his most unique accomplishments in his various roles were the demolition of the Stapleton runway tunnels on I-70 and the coordination of traffic control on the state highway system during Pope John Paul’s visit to Denver in 1993.
Prior to joining CDOT in 1976, Vidal worked for the local engineering firm of Stearns-Rogers, Inc.
Vidal received his bachelors degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a graduate of Duke University’s Strategic Leadership for State Executives Program, Harvard University’s State and Local Government Executive Program, and the University of Indiana’s AASHTO Management Institute.
Vidal and his two brothers are natives of Cuba and were sent to Colorado by their parents in 1961. They lived at the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Pueblo, Colorado, until they were reunited with their parents in 1964 and moved to Denver.
# # #