The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announced that its Fiscal and Management Control Board has approved a contract worth about $159m with Skanska DW White JV to construct the Fall River Secondary Line of the South Coast Rail project in Massachusetts, US.

The Fall River Secondary Line represents the first major construction package of South Coast Rail Phase 1.

Upon completion in late 2023, Phase 1 will connect southeastern Massachusetts and Boston, offering commuters a 1-seat trip from Taunton, Fall River, and New Bedford to Boston in less than 90 minutes.

The scope of the Fall River Secondary contract includes the construction of 12 miles of track, eight railroad bridges, one under-grade bridge, 10 grade crossings, six interlockings, 10 culverts, and additional systems infrastructure.

Under the contract, the contractor will construct two new commuter rail stations in Freetown and Fall River.

The new Freetown Station and Fall River Depot Station will both include accessible high-level side platforms and feature additional amenities that include a drop-off area and bicycle parking.

Freetown station will also feature 107 parking spaces, while Fall River Depot station will feature 220 parking spaces. The parking spaces at both the stations are equipped to accommodate electric vehicles. Fall River will also include a bus drop-off area on North Main Street.

The contract package also includes a layover facility for train storage in Fall River at Weaver’s Cove, which features six tracks. The site will also feature a 1,800ft² crew building and parking areas for employees.

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said: “The awarding of this contract makes it abundantly clear to everyone that we are going to be running passenger train service in the near future between the South Coast and Boston.

“This contract installs or repairs track infrastructure, train layover space, grade crossings, bridges, parking lots and stations. This contract continues us on a path forward to beginning passenger train service in late 2023.”


The Fall River Secondary Line represents the first major construction package of South Coast Rail Phase 1. (Credit: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority)