District 6 Engineer Tom Cole selected
Tom Cole, a transportation icon in District 6 the past two decades, has been named to succeed Steve Hutchinson as ITD’s Chief Engineer. Director Pam Lowe made the announcement early this week, indicating Cole will assume his new role Aug. 1. Hutchinson will retire on June 27.
“We had many outstanding candidates for the position, which made the decision both challenging and promising,” Lowe said. “Tom's wealth of experience will enable us to continue moving forward in our efforts to create an efficient, responsive transportation system. He will be very important to our success.
“At the same time, it is gratifying to know that we had such a strong field of candidates interested in and capable of leading the highway division in the future.”
Cole’s ITD career began in 1982 in Boise. Five years later he transferred to Materials in District 6 where he began ascending the ranks to district engineer. He was promoted to Region 1 engineer in 1996, assistant district engineer in 1998 and became district engineer in October 2000.
Under his leadership, the district delivered projects on time and within established budgets and improved opportunities for constituents to be involved by helping to establish county transportation committees. He also improved communication by creating a public information specialist position. Cole made consistent improvements to district planning and operations.
“Tom’s appointment comes as no surprise, especially to those who know him best,” according to the district’s newsletter Six Bits. “He is a capable leader, with excellent engineering and managerial skills...
“He has been a hard working, efficient, thorough and consistent leader, not to mention a smart one. A tall package.”
In his new capacity, Cole will be responsible for highways in all six of ITD’s geographic regions as well as:
He will serve as a member of the department’s executive management team and will report to Deputy Director Scott Stokes.