Feedback sought on proposed Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass project
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is seeking public comment regarding the proposed Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass project. This project will improve rail operations through the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) railroad corridor in Milwaukee and prepares the corridor for future Amtrak Hiawatha Service expansion.
This project will improve rail operations and safety by:
- creating a new double-track mainline through the CPR railroad corridor to increase yard capacity and efficiency;
- removing a majority of the freight traffic that currently goes through the Milwaukee Intermodal station (MIS);
- removing rail traffic from several street-level crossings in downtown Milwaukee
A postcard notice was sent to property owners, businesses and residents in the corridor. Comments can be emailed to: Muskego.Yard@dot.wi.gov or mailed to Arun Rao, Passenger Rail Manager, WisDOT, PO Box 7913, Madison, WI 53707. The deadline to submit comments and questions is August 7, 2020.
The Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass is one of the infrastructure projects needed to prepare the railroad corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago for additional round trips by the Amtrak Hiawatha Service. The Hiawatha is one of the busiest Amtrak routes in the nation and the busiest route in the Midwest. This service is critical to the economic growth in the region. In 2019, the Hiawatha set a ridership record with more than 880,000 passengers.
The project is in the Menomonee Valley, south of I-94 and east of I-94 and I-43.
The project will improve signal, tracks and bridges in the corridor. Residents and travelers will experience fewer delays and improved safety because freight rail traffic will be routed onto grade-separated crossings. This means less waiting for car, bus, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
The project is estimated to cost approximately $54.6 million. In March, WisDOT was awarded a $26.6 million Federal Railroad Administration Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant. The remaining matching funds will be provided by WisDOT and Amtrak.