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National Center for Rural Road Safety looks ahead as Bhatt becomes new FHWA administrator

BOZEMAN, MONTANA – 1/23/2023 – Following a confirmation announcement last month, a swearing-in ceremony was held last week to officially welcome Shailen Bhatt as the 21st Federal Highway Administration administrator.

Bhatt, a former Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, attended the National Center for Rural Road Safety’s first summit, held 2016 in Denver.

“We have two goals: one, save peoples’ lives and two, make peoples’ lives better,” Bhatt said during the summit. “And from a rural perspective, we have a lot we can do.”

He will lead FHWA in administering more than $350 billion as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The BIL heralds in crucial grant funding for infrastructure and transportation projects nationwide. The BIL presents many opportunities to save lives on rural and Tribal road systems, where serious injury and fatal crashes are overrepresented.

“Bhatt has long championed the need for a focus on rural road system improvements. We – the Rural Road Safety Center – are eager to work alongside the new administrator to assist local, rural, and Tribal governments with the support they need to start or continue their journeys to safer roads and fewer fatalities,” said Jaime Sullivan, the director of the center.

The Safety Center welcomes FHWA’s new administrator and anticipates the work that will be done in rural and Tribal areas across the nation under his leadership.

For technical assistance or more information about the National Center for Rural Road Safety, visit

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