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South Coast Rail issues year in review, updates current projects taking place this week

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South Coast Rail has issued a review of 2020 facts and milestones. Here is the list and some observations on 2021 in addition to what work will be taking place this week.

“2020 has been a milestone year overall, with advertisement and award of the two largest project contracts: Fall River Secondary, which will build that branch of the service, and the New Bedford Main Line/Middleborough Secondary and Signals contract, which will construct these two segments and procure equipment; and install fiber optic cable, signals for the entire right-of-way and Positive Train Control (PTC), which is a system that helps improve train safety. Construction has begun on both contracts.”

Early Action work was completed to prepare for construction and operation of the system. Early Action included demolitions, mainly on future station sites; culvert repairs and construction; grade crossing improvements; and railroad bridge reconstruction.

“Our contractors are following Massachusetts COVID-19 guidelines and procedures for all construction sites and workers at all public works sites. While the MBTA wants to keep the project on schedule, the health of our staff and the contractors’ staff is a priority.”

“Our team met with hundreds of residents, business owners, state and municipal officials and interested supporters. From March on, the meetings were virtual, and while we miss our in-person conversations, we continued to listen and learn. The numbers are below, but more importantly, we thank everyone who took the time to meet with us.”

Activity is expected to increase on the project.

“Moving into 2021, you will see more activity as the pace of construction continues to ramp up along the Middleborough Secondary and New Bedford Main Line. Ongoing work along the Fall River Line includes the construction of earth retaining walls and offloading of a “rail train,” which involves threading lengths of new continuously welded steel rail along the right-of-way (ROW). A long, bright red vehicle moves along the tracks and threads, or places, new steel lengths next to the old ones in preparation for replacement of the existing rails. Work is also underway to prepare future station overnight layover sites by clearing trees and brush and bringing the sites to future grades. Deliveries of new railroad ties, track switches and Other Track Materials (OTM) will continue into 2021 for use as the work progresses. Finally, utility improvements and relocations will also continue along the SCR Phase 1 ROW. After more than 30 years of planning, SCR is on the move.”

Work on Middleborough Secondary and New Bedford Main Line

Upcoming Tree Clearing Activities in Middleborough and Taunton

Starting in January 2021, the contractor is scheduled to begin tree clearing and erosion control work at the new Middleborough Station and East Taunton Station sites.

Currently, the contractor continues with survey work along the railroad right-of-way from Middleborough to New Bedford.

Location of Work:
New Middleborough Station site, 161 South Main Street, Middleborough
East Taunton Station site, 1141 County Street, Taunton
Middleborough Secondary and New Bedford Main Line right-of-way

Dates/Hours of Work:
Monday, January 4 through Friday, January 8, 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Work on Fall River Secondary Main Line

General Activities

This week, the contractor will continue with sewer work, tree clearing, erosion control, delivery and moving of materials, equipment mobilization, and survey work occurring along the Fall River Secondary Line right-of-way.

The contractor will continue to receive (via rail cars) sections of rail to be utilized along the Fall River Secondary Line right-of-way. Deliveries began in the Adams Lane area of Berkley and will continue south to Fall River through the end of the year.

Delivery of new railroad ties to the project construction lay-down yard on Campanelli Drive in Freetown continues this week and will continue every few weeks until early 2021.

Location of Work:
Freetown Station site, 161 South Main Street, Assonet
Construction lay-down yard site, Campanelli Drive, Freetown
Fall River Depot site, 825 Davol Street, Fall River
Weaver’s Cove Layover Facility, 2680 North Main Street, Fall River
Fall River Secondary Line railroad right-of-way between Adams Lane in Berkley and Fall River Depot

Dates/Hours of Work:
Monday, January 4 through Friday, January 8, 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Retaining Wall Construction

The contractor will continue the installation of steel sheeting for retaining walls in the railroad right-of-way south of Adams Lane in Berkley to the Assonet River in Lakeville.

Dates/Hours of Work:
Monday, January 4 through Saturday, January 9, 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Ongoing MBTA work may be disruptive to residents. Crews are using various pieces of heavy equipment and trucks along the railroad right-of-way. While the project will seek to minimize construction-related impacts to communities, low to moderate noise levels and vibrations will be generated.

Bridge Replacements and Associated Track Work

Punch list and final inspection activity is continuing for the early action bridge replacement work with minimal impacts to traffic anticipated.

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