Massachusetts Settles with Big Dig Contractor for $21M

November 17, 2008

One of the Big Dig’s largest contractors, Modern Continental Construction Inc., will pay $21 million in damages related to a fatal tunnel ceiling collapse as well as the cost of fixing leaks in the massive highway project, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Friday.

The company has also agreed not to perform any more work on the Big Dig.

Modern Continental has filed for bankruptcy, so the agreement must be approved by a bankruptcy court.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said the settlement “marks another step” toward settling the outstanding claims related to Big Dig tunnel problems, and will save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation costs.

“We hope that the bankruptcy court views this as a fair and reasonable resolution,” Coakley said in a statement.

Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Executive Director Alan LeBovidge said he was “happy” the case with Modern Continental Construction was over.

“We settled within the parameters that we wanted to settle it,” he said.

Modern Continental did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The state also recently announced that the firm that purchased the epoxy that failed in the tunnel ceiling collapse has agreed to pay $5 million in damages. Newman Associates Inc. bought the epoxy from Power Fasteners Inc. and sold it to Modern Continental.

A call seeking comment from Newman Associates was not immediately returned.

Milena Del Valle, 39, of Boston was killed in July 2006 when 26 tons of ceiling panels collapsed on the car she was riding in with her husband to Logan International Airport.

The Big Dig’s project manager, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, already has agreed to a $407 million settlement over the ceiling collapse, leaks and design flaws.

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