New MassPike director to review operations

| 11/27/2007

As his first order of business, the new executive director of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority will conduct a 60-day review in an effort to trim wasteful spending.

Alan LeBovidge took the helm on Monday, Nov. 26, with a vow to right the ship.

LeBovidge fills a vacancy left when the previous director, Matthew Amorello, stepped down in the aftermath of a collapse in the Big Dig tunnels of a concrete ceiling panel that killed a motorist in 2006.

Mary Jane O’Meara had been serving as interim director. State Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen appointed LeBovidge to the permanent position based on a recommendation from Gov. Deval Patrick.

According to The Boston Globe, Patrick asked LeBovidge to persuade state legislators to consider an overhaul of the Massachusetts transportation system through a proposed merger of the turnpike authority and other quasi-government entities with the Massachusetts Highway Department. The new agency would be called the Massachusetts Transportation Authority, or MassTrans.

Patrick has not made a formal proposal for the merger but he continues to talk about it as a possibility.

The turnpike authority’s board of directors recently voted to increase tolls by 25 cents for passenger vehicles and 25 cents per axle for heavy trucks at two toll booths in Boston and 50 cents for passenger vehicles and 50 cents per truck axle at two of the tunnels.

If a merger does not happen, the board of directors may push for additional toll increases, a turnpike spokesman previously told Land Line.

– By David Tanner, staff writer