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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will host two public hearings this week to review the 25 percent-completed designs for four bridge replacements along the future South Coast Rail route. The hearings will be held Wednesday in Fall River and Thursday in New Bedford.The bridge replacements will provide "fast and tangible benefits" to help expand freight-rail service along the route and support future passenger-rail service. The Golf Club Road, President Avenue and Brownell Street bridges in Fall River and Wamsutta bridge in New Bedford will be removed and replaced.In November 2013, MassDOT announced the beginning of construction to rehabilitate the Fall River and New Bedford rail lines to improve freight service and allow for a planned freight expansion. The lines in the “southern triangle” currently are used for freight rail. The condition of the track limits service to 5 mph in some locations.The commonwealth of Massachusetts bought the rail lines from CSX Transportation in 2010 to secure the right of way for future South Coast Rail service.
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