The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has been given the green light to award an $18 million contract for early work on South Coast Rail.

The contract with LM Heavy Civil Construction will improve five grade crossings along the South Coast Rail corridor, including one in Taunton, one in New Bedford, and three in Freetown.

Jean Fox, Project Coordinator for South Coast Rail, tells WBSM News the early work has multiple benefits.

The contract was approved by MassDOT's board of directors on Wednesday.

In addition to the contract, the board also approved 22 technical assistance grants to communities to help implement principles outlined in the South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan. Those grants total over $350,000.

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420