Header Images


Site Title


Public Affairs Menu


News Release Manager

Massachusetts DOT seeks permit to place fill in half an acre of wetlands for South Coast Rail Phase 1 project

Published July 3, 2018

CONCORD, Mass. – The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT), of 10 Park Plaza in Boston, is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with filling approximately 1/2 acre of wetlands for the South Coast Rail Phase 1 Project in southeastern Massachusetts. The work is proposed in various waters and wetlands along three existing freight lines: the Middleborough Secondary Line; the New Bedford Main Line; and the Fall River Secondary Line.


These lines extend from Middleborough, west to East Taunton, south to New Bedford and southwest to Fall River, Mass. The proposed work would take place along the railroad right-of-way in the towns of Lakeville, Taunton, Berkley, Freetown, Fall River and New Bedford, Mass.


The discharges or filling of waters and wetlands, which are the subject of this permit application, would involve placing fill in numerous locations along the above mentioned rail lines. The total permanent area of fill in waters and wetlands for the proposed project would be approximately 21,375 square feet or 0.49 acre. Approximately 1,157 square feet of temporary fill would be placed and later removed.


The purpose of the proposed work is to repair, reconstruct and upgrade the approximately 40 miles of existing freight line to extend commuter rail service to New Bedford and Fall River. The proposed filling in waters and wetlands (types and amounts) are shown in the public notice posted on the Corps website. In addition, more detailed plans on 162 sheets titled “South Coast Rail Phase 1” and dated “April 27, 2018” are available upon request to SouthCoastRail@dot.state.ma.us.


Additional information about the South Coast Rail Project is available at



The permit applicant has shifted alignments, steepened slopes and used retaining walls to reduce the wetland footprint of the work and has proposed 0.45 acre of wetland creation and an in lieu fee payment to the Massachusetts In-Lieu Fee Program as mitigation for the wetland impacts.


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters,including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx


Public comments on this work proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (file # NAE-2007-698) should be forwarded no later than Aug. 3, 2018 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Richard Roach), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751.


Comments on this proposal can be sent electronically to richard.a.roach@usace.army.mil. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Richard Roach at 978-318-8005 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to richard.a.roach@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 18-064