The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in the US has awarded a $403.5m contract to the SCR Constructors joint venture (JV) between The Middlesex Corporation and Tutor Perini.
The contract has been awarded to build the New Bedford Main Line, upgrade the Middleborough Secondary Line, and construct the Phase 1 signal and communication system.
This is claimed to be the second and larger of two construction packages of South Coast Rail Phase 1.
Once complete in late-2023, the first phase will link southeastern Massachusetts and Boston, as well as offer commuters with a one-seat trip from Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford to Boston within 90min.
Since the ground-breaking of the first phase in July 2019, South Coast Rail has invested $688.6m on construction work, real estate acquisitions, and vehicle procurement.
The early action project is expected to be finished by the end of this year as major projects commence construction.
In May, the first phase’s major construction package of $159m was awarded to Skanska DW White JV, with the scope of the work comprising new stations in Freetown and Fall River and an all-new Weaver’s Cove layover facility, as well as work on 12 miles of track, eight railroad bridges, ten grade crossings, ten culverts, and additional systems and infrastructure.
The Skanska DW White JV secured notice to proceed on the Fall River secondary contract and the construction is expected to commence later this year.
MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said: “This contract is the second major step taken this year to advance the critically important South Coast Rail.
“Building upon the early-action progress made by MassDOT, this contract award means the construction of brand new and fully accessible stations in East Taunton, Middleborough, and two in New Bedford, a brand new layover facility in New Bedford, and important work on signal and communications systems.”
The new stations will have high-level side platforms, a drop-off area and parking for bicycles and electric vehicles.
The contract also covers a layover facility for train storage in New Bedford at Whale’s Tooth, close to an existing rail storage area.
It will feature six tracks where trains will be stored before beginning service daily and after ending service.
Work on 24 miles of track, 12 interlockings, 11 culverts and additional systems and infrastructure are also part of the contract.
The MBTA has received all permits to commence construction, which is expected to take 37 months, and begin this year.
In June, MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) approved a four-year contract extension with Keolis Commuter Services.
The Commuter Rail Operating contract will be valid until 30 June 2026.