BOSTON — The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board today approved the second major contract for South Coast Rail, a $400 million contract that provides for the construction of New Bedford stations as well as major rail infrastructure.

This follows the $159 million contract awarded in June for work on the Fall River secondary line.

The contract approved by FMCB includes work for the New Bedford and Church Street rail stations, 24.1 miles of track, 18 grade crossings, 11 culverts, signals, Positive Train Control infrastructure, upgrading right-of-ways, and other work associated with two additional rail stations along the rail corridor.

According to Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, the contract is the largest remaining contract to complete rail service to New Bedford by 2023.

“Today’s action means major construction work along the New Bedford line can finally commence,” said Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford), who championed the project and also secured $850 million in the recent transportation bond bill that is still pending final legislative approval. “Our community deserves direct commuter rail access to Boston, and smaller construction projects in recent months have been leading up to this major contract. Our residents have waited decades for commuter rail to arrive, and I thank the Baker Administration for following through on their commitment thus far.”

State Representative William Straus (D-Mattapoisett), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, echoed Montigny’s praise of the administration.

“This project is critical to our transportation future for the SouthCoast and I appreciate the promise which has been kept by Governor Baker to see this through,” Straus said in a written statement.

— A press release from Sen. Montigny’s Office was used in the writing of this report

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