A joint venture between Skanska and D.W. White Construction has landed a $159-million contract to help extend commuter rail service from Boston to the outer suburbs, rural towns and old industrial cities of Southeastern Massachusetts.

Skanska and local contractor D.W. White beat out five other teams, with other bids ranging from $163.9 million to $217.2 million, according to officials at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board approved the design-build contract on May 11, marking the award of the first major construction project of the planned, South Coast commuter rail line.

The Skanska DW White JV will kick off construction this summer, with a 30-month timeline, with delivery in late 2023.

The contract calls for designing and building two new commuter rail stations and retrofitting more than 12 miles of freight rail lines to accommodate passenger trains. Once complete, the new commuter rail line will offer an under 90-minute commute to Boston from Fall River and other communities along the state’s South Coast.

“This award … is a major step forward for South Coast Rail as we continue to build upon the foundation MassDOT provided for this project,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, in a press statement.

Under the Fall River Secondary contract, Skanska and D.W. White will build a pair of commuter rail stations in Freetown and Fall River, including “accessible high-level side platforms,” as well as a drop-off area, and a total of 327 parking spaces at both stations, including accommodations for bicycles and electric cars.

A layover complex in Fall River at Weaver’s Cove, with six tracks where trains will be stored at night and a 1,800-sq-ft crew building, are also included in the project.

In addition to track work, the Skanska/DW White joint venture will also work on eight railway bridges as well “one under-grade bridge, ten grade crossings, six interlockings, ten culverts and additional systems infrastructure,” MBTA officials noted in a blog post.

The five other bids and the joint ventures who submitted them were:

  • $163,967,871.00 White-Manafort JV
  • 3. $168,469,000.00 The Middlesex Corp.
  • 4. $170,928,000.00 Barletta Heavy Division, Inc.
  • 5. $191,754,031.00 Walsh-RCC, JV
  • 6. $217,208,603.50 Lane-Delta SCR JV