John Cogliano

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John Cogliano
Chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority
In office
August 16, 2006 – July 1, 2007
Preceded by Matthew J. Amorello
Succeeded by Bernard Cohen
Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation
In office
Preceded by Daniel Grabauskas
Succeeded by Bernard Cohen
Personal details
Residence Foxborough, Massachusetts

John Cogliano is a former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation and Chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. He was appointed to the position by Governor Mitt Romney in May 2005. In 2007 Governor Deval Patrick replaced Cogliano with Bernard Cohen.

Early life and education[edit]

Cogliano grew up in Canton, Massachusetts, where his family ran a Plant nursery.[1]

He graduated from Boston College with a degree in Political Science and Economics and later studied Administration and Management at Harvard University.[2]

Cogliano worked at his family's nursery until 1991 when his father and uncle decided to sell the business.[1]

Early government career[edit]

In 1991 Cogliano was hired as a project manager for the Massachusetts Division of Capital Planning and Operations. In 1997 he moved to the Massachusetts Highway Department.[1] He was appointed the department's Commissioner in 2002.

Commissioner of the Massachusetts Highway Department[edit]

John Cogliano served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Highway Department from 2002 to 2005. As Commissioner, he managed more than 1,800 employees and a budget of $700 million. During his tenure, Cogliano advanced a number of the Romney Administration's key initiatives, such as implementing the Fix it First and Communities First policies, streamlining operations and reducing bureaucratic inefficiencies and Red Tape at the Highway Department, implementing the use of GPS technology to bring accountability to MassHighway's snow and ice operations, accelerating spending on road and bridge projects to a minimum of $450 million a year, and breaking ground on the project to eliminate the Sagamore Rotary. He also helped develop the Romney Administration's Long-Range Transportation Plan, which calls for $31 billion in transportation improvements over the next 20 years and will serve as a blueprint for carrying out projects and policies under his Secretariat.[3]

Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation[edit]

As Secretary of Transportation, Cogliano instituted a hiring freeze, attempted to streamline operations by putting more than 250 additional employees under his control, and initiated the relocation of the Registry of Motor Vehicles from expensive Copley Square offices to a less expensive downtown location.[4]

Big Dig ceiling collapse[edit]

Cogliano was Transportation Secretary on July 10, 2006 when a concrete ceiling panel weighing 3 tons (2722 kg) and measuring 20 by 40 ft (6.1 by 12.2 m) fell in on a car traveling Boston's Fort Point Channel Tunnel, killing a passenger and injuring the driver.

After the collapse, Cogliano chose to hire Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff, the company that was responsible for overseeing the original construction of the tunnel, to inspect the repairs.[5] The hiring of Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff resulted in an inquiry from the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation. Cogliano admitted that he regretted reusing the firm and the state promised not to hire any Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff employees to work on repairs in the I-90 tunnel.[6]

As a result of the collapse, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Chairman Matthew J. Amorello was forced to resign and Cogliano succeeded him while retaining his job as Transportation Secretary. Cogliano remained Turnpike Chairman until July 1, 2007 when he was succeeded by State Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Preer, Robert (June 12, 2005). "What he watched, he now oversees". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Daniel, Mac (May 3, 2005). "Romney Names New Transportation Chief". Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 August 2 011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ The Executive Office of Transportation Biography of John Cogliano Archived 2006-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. 2006
  4. ^ State Transit Secretary Quietly Begins Shake Up to Cut Costs The Boston Globe August 31, 2005
  5. ^ Ross, Casey (October 27, 2006). "Mitt passes buck on Bechtel hiring ; Blames Cogiliano for `mistake'". Boston Herald. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Allen, Scott (October 25, 2006). "Official regrets reuse of firm; Big Dig error, Cogliano says". Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Estes, Andrea (June 28, 2007). "Temporary head of MassPike chosen". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 August 2011.