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$210m contract awarded for South Coast rail project

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation awarded a New England company a $210 million contract for the South Coast Rail project, officially moving the plan into its construction phase, the department said in a statement.

“South Coast Rail will be a game changer for the region, providing a reliable public transit option for residents and businesses of the South Coast,” Governor Deval Patrick said in a statement.

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Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. has been awarded a 10-year contract.

When construction is complete, South Coast Rail is to provide service from New Bedford and Fall River to Boston’s South Station. The proposed service would be an electrified commuter rail system extending from Canton Junction to New Bedford and Fall River.

“Public transit isn’t just about moving people from Point A to B,” MassDOT Secretary Richard A. Davey said in the statement. “It’s about giving people access to employment opportunities, recreation and an improved quality of life.”

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp
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