According to Pioneer Institute’s MassOpenBooks, the two construction companies that have been paid the most by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are first, GLX contractors, which you can learn more about here: https://pioneerinstitute.org/blog/blog-better-government/blog-transparency/the-green-line-extension-project-progress-and-finances/. Second is Suffolk Construction Contractors. Suffolk is a construction contracting company founded and based in Boston that has a current contract with the Massachusetts Port Authority for the renovation of Boston’s Logan International Airport.
In 2014, Massport began planning renovations for Logan Airport because of increasing passenger demand. More gates are being added to allow more jets. Logan was originally built in 1923, before the wide body jets that Logan now accommodates on a daily basis were invented. Terminal E, which serves international flights, will expand by 400,000 square feet and include seven new aircraft gates. Terminal C will also be getting a full renovation, including a new canopy and better roadways and connections to Terminal B. In addition, 5,000 new parking spaces will be added along with designated Uber/Lyft areas and updates to the Logan Express Bus Line. Massport is branding this renovation as “Logan Forward” and is estimated to cost around $2 billion.
According to MassOpenBooks, from 2014 to 2020 Massport paid Suffolk Construction a total of $449,074,001. In 2014, Massport made its biggest payment to Suffolk of $145,699,194. Additionally, the Logan Airport renovations are receiving federal aid as a part of the federal infrastructure bill passed last fall. Logan airport will be receiving $62 million out of the nearly $1 billion going to 82 airports around the country, which Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “will help meet future demand for travel and make flying safer and more efficient.”
Not only are these funds going towards the equipment and materials needed for the renovations, but also towards the worker’s wages. In accordance with Massport’s guidelines, any contractor working on Massport construction must comply with Massachusetts prevailing wage laws, and since the project is receiving federal funding, the contractors must also comply with the federal Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that “contractors and subcontractors must pay their laborers and mechanics employed under the contract no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area.” In addition to this, since Suffolk Construction is employing union workers and the contract is over $100,000, they must comply with the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act which requires any laborers or mechanics working over 40 hours a week will receive time and a half for their overtime hours. The data for Massport’s payments in 2021 and 2022 to Suffolk Construction have not yet been released but Massport will continue to get funding from the federal government in addition from the state due to the infrastructure bill for the expected three-year duration of the renovations at Boston Logan International Airport.
Mitchell Bove is a Roger Perry Government Transparency Intern at the Pioneer Institute for Summer 2022. He is a rising junior at Suffolk University with a major in U.S. History and minors in Media & Film.