Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Executive Director and First Employee Officially Steps Down
Despite Plans to Step Down in Early 2020, Mike Heiligenstein Stayed to Lead Agency Through the Pandemic
AUSTIN, TEXAS – January 12, 2021 –The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) today announced that Executive Director Mike Heiligenstein will officially depart from the agency on January 24th. Heiligenstein originally submitted his resignation in January 2020, with plans to stay on for a transitional period through June, but ultimately extended his time through the end of the year to help the organization face unprecedented obstacles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the past four decades Mike Heiligenstein has served as a member of the Round Rock City Council, a Williamson County Commissioner, and for the last 17 years as the Executive Director of the Mobility Authority. In those roles he has led or been involved in shaping some of the most crucial infrastructure projects and transportation policies throughout Central Texas,” said Bobby Jenkins, chairman of the Mobility Authority. “Mike’s passion for solving complex issues and his dedication to our region have helped establish and maintain the Mobility Authority’s position as one of the most successful and financially-sound transportation agencies in the nation."
In 2002 Travis and Williamson Counties joined together to create the Mobility Authority with the hope that it would develop modern mobility solutions and a regional transportation network. The Mobility Authority became operational in 2003, when Heiligenstein was selected to lead the agency. Throughout his 17 years of leadership, the Mobility Authority has delivered more than $2 billion in critical infrastructure investments in the region, serving more than two million Central Texans.
“My tenure at the Mobility Authority has been the most rewarding work of my professional career, and I am so grateful to have served alongside such an incredible team,” said Heiligenstein. “While staying on through 2020 was not part of the original plan, it was my honor to serve the agency and work through new challenges brought on by the pandemic. I am confident that the Mobility Authority is well positioned to usher in a new executive director and continue its critical infrastructure work.”
As the first employee of the Mobility Authority, Heiligenstein has directly recruited the current executive staff and assembled a team of 30, representing engineering, construction management, finance, operations, innovation and communications. Under his leadership, the Mobility Authority has delivered six public projects, totaling more than 230 lane miles – tolled and non-tolled, with another 155 lane miles currently under construction. Additionally, the organization delivered the first express lane in the region, completed more than 100 million customer transactions per year on new tolled facilities, implemented shared-use paths throughout the Mobility Authority’s comprehensive network and worked collaboratively with local municipalities on technology platforms to reduce congestion.
“Last year was particularly difficult for industries across the nation, and there were so many unforeseen hurdles for the transportation and mobility sector in particular,” said David Singleton, board treasurer of the Mobility Authority. “We are incredibly grateful to Mike for extending his time to help lead and navigate the agency through these uncharted waters. Despite the challenges, the Mobility Authority never slowed; we’ve made significant advances toward our signature projects to help Central Texans get to where they need to be.”
Throughout 2020, the Mobility Authority maintained its focus and made tremendous headway on critical infrastructure for the region. With increased health and safety precautions in place, the Mobility Authority recently opened two of the three direct connectors on the new 290/130 Flyover Project and made significant progress on the 183 South Project, which will serve as a true north-south alternative to IH-35. Through all of this, Heiligenstein ensured the agency is fully prepared to begin its next chapter.
The Board of Directors has appointed longtime Chief Financial Officer, Bill Chapman, to serve as interim executive director effective immediately, while it works to secure the organization’s next leader. A nationwide executive search began last spring but was delayed due to the pandemic; the process officially resumed in the fall and the Board has worked diligently to narrow the pool to a handful of highly qualified candidates.
“Our hope is to a vote on the selected candidate in the coming weeks, recognizing the big shoes we are working to fill,” said Jenkins. “I know the Mobility Authority is in very good hands with Bill at the helm, and I am grateful for his willingness to step into this role.”
To learn more about the Mobility Authority, visit www.MobilityAuthority.com.
ABOUT THE CENTRAL TEXAS REGIONAL MOBILITY AUTHORITY
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is a local, independent government agency created in 2002 to improve the regional transportation system in Travis and Williamson Counties. The Mobility Authority implements innovative and sustainable transportation options to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in Central Texas. The Mobility Authority operates 183A Toll, 290 Toll, the 71 Toll Lane, the MoPac Express Lane, the 45SW Toll Road, and the 183 Toll Road. The agency is finishing construction of the 8-mile 183 South Project and the 290/130 Flyovers Project. For more information about the Mobility Authority, visit www.MobilityAuthority.com.