Boston – A 10-year program and construction management contract for the construction of the long-awaited South Coast Rail project has been awarded jointly to HNTB Corporation and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. The initial first-year contract will fund program management; data collection, including environmental site assessments; partial preliminary design; environmental permitting and public outreach.

“People living in the South Coast of Massachusetts will again have passenger rail service into Boston and enjoy the many economic and social benefits this service helps create,” said Phillip Brake, P.E., HNTB senior vice president and Massachusetts office leader. “In addition, the entire Boston region will benefit from new jobs and expanded commerce and industry resulting from this vital infrastructure project. It’s a major milestone, and we are proud to play a significant role in its development.”

The total cost of the South Coast Rail project is expected to be $2.3 billion. It will bring commuter rail service from New Bedford and Fall River into Boston South Station. The New Bedford to Boston portion of the route will be 55 miles and have a travel time of 77 minutes. The Fall River to Boston route is 52.7 miles with a travel time of 75 minutes.

Construction will include 44 rail crossings and 34 bridges in addition to four bridges and five crossings already in development as part of separate projects. New stations will be built in Stoughton, North Easton, Raynham Park, Taunton, Taunton Depot, Freetown and Fall River. Also, new platforms will be built at current stations located in Canton Center, Easton Village, King Highway, Battleship Cove and Whale’s Tooth in New Bedford.

The South Coast Rail project is expected to stimulate almost half a billion dollars in economic development annually for the region.

HNTB’s Massachusetts offices work with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Toronto Transit Commission, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Maine Department of Transportation and the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, providing comprehensive services to enhance mobility and travel options locally and regionally. Signature projects include the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, expansion of Boston’s historic South Station multimodal transportation hub, MBTA Green Line Extension, Whittier Bridge and the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth, N.H.