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Suffolk Group Client Rail to Boston Coalition to Host Press Event on Re establishing South Coast Rail
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Gov Signs Associated Subcontractors of MA Bill Regulating Retainage on Private Construction Projects
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Suffolk Group Representing South Coast Rail Business Coalition
Suffolk Group Client EMD Serono President Highlighted in Boston Globe
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Suffolk Group Representing South Coast Rail Business Coalition


SouthCoast Rail project chugs forward June 27, 2014 2:42 PM A Southeastern Massachusetts business coalition is planning a public relations and lobbying campaign to help make SouthCoast Rail a reality. "We have hired a good PR firm. We have a lobbying firm that's working with us and we are headstrong in really working with the current administration and the future administration to see this through," said Paul Chasse, CEO of the Greater New Bedford Association of Realtors and coalition co-chair with Roy Nascimento, president of the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce. The recent announcement that a $210 million contract has been awarded for the project has coalition leaders optimistic about the future. "We have gotten farther in the last year than we ever have," said Chasse. "We have a governor right now that wants to bring it to the point of no return. Whether he can really do that at this point or not is a different issue, but he is certainly working towards it." The 10-year contract with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB)/HNTB Corporation awards $12 million in first year funding to begin program management, early design development, and environmental permitting, with additional awards in succeeding years up to the contract limit of $210 million. "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," said Governor Deval Patrick. "This historic project will help create new economic opportunity in communities along the rail corridor, opening up the area for the kind of growth we are seeing elsewhere throughout the Commonwealth." The current estimated total budget for SouthCoast Rail is $2.3 billion, the state said in a release, which includes reconstructing 44 rail crossings and 34 bridges, in addition to four bridges and five crossings that are already in design as part of separate projects. New stations will be constructed in Stoughton, North Easton, Raynham Park, Taunton, Taunton Depot, Freetown, and Fall River. Current stations receiving new platforms include Canton Center, Easton Village, Kings Highway, Battleship Cove and Whale's Tooth in New Bedford. The business coalition is made up of realtor organizations, chambers, economic development committees and other organizations in the Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford areas. Moving forward, the group wants to expand its membership base and continue reaching out to gubnatorial candidates, Chasse said. "We anticipate early next year to be meeting with either (candidate) who will be in the executive office," said Chasse. "Because at that point we have a transportation bond bill that is signed. We just have to encourage whoever it is to continue to use it and sell the bonds." The coalition's focus will be on Boston, he said. "The strategy is to get the Boston area on board because this isn't a regional issue, this is a state issue," said Chasse. "Our mantra is the more commuter rail you put out there, the more inner city commerce you're going to have." HOME