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Governor Patrick, New Bedford, South Coast Rail, November 24, 2014Governor Deval Patrick today joined Acting MassDOT Secretary and CEO Frank DePaola and local officials to announce a contract award for the replacement of four bridges in New Bedford and Fall River along the future South Coast Rail Line. The improvements will advance South Coast Rail while providing immediate benefit to the active freight operations in the region.

“Residents of the South Coast have been waiting for 20 years for a reliable transit system that connects conveniently to Boston and everything in between,” said Governor Patrick. “These infrastructure investments will help us make it happen.”

As part of the early action projects associated with the South Coast Rail Project, the $42 million project will replace three Fall River bridges and the Wamsutta Bridge in New Bedford. The contract for the bridge replacement work was awarded to Cardi Corporation.

In June, the MassDOT Board of Directors approved a contract award of $210 million over 10 years to the joint venture of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB)/HNTB) Corporation. The contract officially moved the South Coast Rail project from planning to construction. The Board granted $12 million in first year funding to begin program management, early design development and environmental permitting, with additional awards in succeeding years up to the contract limit of $210 million.

The bridge replacement project announced today is in addition to the 10-year South Coast Rail contract. The four rail bridges along the South Coast Rail right of way to be replaced include the President Avenue, Brownell Avenue, and Golf Club Road Bridges in Fall River and the three-span Wamsutta Bridge in New Bedford. In addition, a separate MBTA contract will completely upgrade five grade crossings located on Dean Street in Taunton; Copicut Road, Elm and High Streets in Freetown; and Nash Road in New Bedford.

All early-action projects will be completed over the next two years while ongoing preliminary engineering design work continues on the overall South Coast Rail project.

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