Wisconsin awards grants to six rail projects

RELATED TOPICS: REGULATION | INFRASTRUCTURE
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MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has awarded more than $20.3 million in grants through the Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP). In addition, WisDOT is awarding $3.8 million in loans through the state’s Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP).

Recipients of 2014-2015 FRPP grants and FRIIP loans include:

  • Port of Milwaukee — A $1,449,184 FRPP grant was awarded to cover 80 percent of the costs of a $1,811,480-reconstruction of the Lake Yard at the Port of Milwaukee facilities on Jones Island. The funds will be used to improve deteriorated tracks. Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific serve the yard and the Port of Milwaukee.
  • Farm City Elevator Inc. — A $1,500,000 million FRIIP loan was awarded to construct an additional 765,000-bushel grain storage bin at the facility previously owned by Zenda Grain LLC in Zenda, Wis. that is served by Wisconsin & Southern. The state of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission own the right-of-way.

The Wisconsin & Southern Railroad received four project awards including:

  • Fairwater to Markesan – A $4,116,160 FRPP grant and a $514,520 FRIIP loan was awarded to replace 4,000 ties, five public road crossings and six switches. WSOR will also install 4,000 tons of new ballast with tamping and surfacing, and 7.2 miles of continuously welded rail. The state and the East Wisconsin Counties Railroad Consortium own the Fairwater-Markesan line.
  • Watertown Line – A $4,489,128 FRPP grant and $561,141 FRIIP loan was awarded to surface track, replace 47,800 ties requiring 560 tons of ballast per mile and renew 26 crossings. WisDOT and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission own the Madison to Watertown line. Had Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker not rejected funding for passenger rail, this was the line that would have been rebuilt for 110 mph operation for passenger service to Madison.
  • Waukesha to Milton – A $1,440,000 FRPP grant and $180,000 FRIIP loan was awarded to begin the first phase of a multi-year project to rehabilitate 41.25 miles of track. The first year of the project includes the renewal of 15 rail crossings. When complete, there will be 30,000 new ties, new ballast and continuous welded rail. WisDOT and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission own the Waukesha-Milton line.
  • Bridge rehabilitation and replacement – A $8,800,000 FRPP grant and $1,100,000 FRIIP loan was awarded to rehabilitate and reconstruct approximately 50 WSOR bridges that have been identified by engineering studies as needing repairs that are vital to keeping state-owned railroad corridors operational. Locations (with the number of bridges) include: Oshkosh Subdivision (8), Waukesha Sub (3), Prairie Sub (16), Watertown Sub (6), Reedsburg/Cottage Grove Sub (6), Cambria Sub (3), Plymouth Sub (4), Madison Sub (3), the Monroe Sub (1) and the Gibson Spur (1).

Since 1993, WisDOT has provided more than $221 million in FRPP grants and more than $123 million in FRIIP loans.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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