The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Board voted last week to approve a five-year capital program of approximately $2.6 billion to fund major projects for fiscal years 2019-2023.
The program includes $1.9 billion for Logan International Airport, $405 million for Conley Container Terminal and Flynn Cruiseport, $52 million for Hanscom Airport, and $43 million for Worcester Regional Airport.
Massport Acting CEO John Pranckevicius said, “Massport is making strategic investments to improve our infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing economy. These projects have been carefully vetted to support the needs of an increasing customer base, enhance the passenger experience and ensure public safety, while also continuing our long-standing commitment to sustainability and the community.”
Plans at Logan Airport include the Terminal E Modernization project, which combines new construction, renovations, and upgrades to the existing terminal built in 1974 to create a seamless experience for passengers from the curb to the plane. Seven additional gates are being added to 12 existing gates at Terminal E to accommodate more flights to a growing list of nonstop international destinations. Additional ticket counters, baggage carousels, and concessions to support the increased passenger volume are being built, along with a larger security checkpoint with faster Automated Screening Lanes (ASL). The new gates will also be able to serve larger and more energy-efficient aircraft.
In addition, the Board approved funding to alleviate roadway congestion, encourage more HOV use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the airport. Massport is building a new parking garage with 2,000 spaces next to Terminal E and is undertaking a roadway improvement project to help ease the traffic flow between Terminals B and C, especially during peak hours. The Old Tower will be demolished to make way for a new roadway and a connector building between Terminals B and C. Terminal C’s departure deck and canopy area are being reconfigured to increase curb length and travel lanes.
At Conley Terminal, the Board approved $210 million dollars to restore a former maritime terminal at Berth 10 with a new modern facility. Dredging a section of the harbor is required to support the construction of a new concrete wharf designed for 12,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) vessels. The wharf will also have three new larger Ship-to-Shore container cranes, which are required for loading and unloading containers by larger and taller vessels, to accommodate the increasing container volume. Last year, Conley Terminal set a new record in overall container volume for the fourth year in a row, handling over 298,000 TEUs.
Across the Reserved Channel, improvements are being made to the Flynn Cruiseport Boston. The capital program includes $10 million dollars to begin the permitting and design for an expanded facility with two homeport terminals and capacity to service larger ships. New energy efficient windows are being installed and a new automated gangway put in place to expedite passengers coming on and off the ships. In 2018, Flynn Cruiseport Boston welcomed a record 390,696 visitors to Boston.
Over $9 million of capital program funds are being used at Worcester Airport for improvements to a portion of Runway 11-29 and to replace the engineered material arresting system (EMAS), which is a safety feature at both ends of that runway. Two new jet bridges are being installed at Worcester to accommodate more passengers. This year, Worcester Airport will offer six daily flights by three major airlines.
Hanscom Airport will receive $4.8 million for a new facility to house the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting equipment and the CBP area. Hanscom Field is the general aviation reliever for Logan and is the second busiest airport in New England with more than 100,000 operations annually.
Finally, Massport is investing 14% of the capital program budget on technology that either improves security, promotes efficiency for customers, and/or reduces the Authority’s carbon footprint. The capital program includes money for facial recognition technology at Terminal E, for remote baggage check-in capability at Logan Express locations, for electric vehicle charging stations at the Rental Car Center and Central Garage, and for a rooftop solar panel system at Terminal C, capable of providing power to all new roadway lights with some surplus energy.
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