Environmental report for South Coast Rail completed

The South Coast Rail project has reached the point of no return, says Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

On Monday, Patrick announced the state has accepted the Army Corps of Engineers Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The EIS approves the route through Stoughton to serve Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford.

There will be public hearings before the design and construction of the rail line is completed.{} Costs are estimated at $1.8 billion.

The rail project has been in the works for decades and been a priority of the Patrick administration.

Patrick says he looks forward to riding the MBTA route, but he admits he will not be governor when that finally happens.

The commuter rail is expected to make the trip from New Bedford to Boston in 77 minutes, and provide access to Boston jobs from less expensive housing in southeastern Massachusetts.