WisDOT announces more than $16 million in grants, loans for freight rail projects
Wisconsin’s rail system consists of 10 freight railroads, which operate more than 3,300 miles of track in the state.
Eight freight rail projects will be completed with assistance from Wisconsin Department of Transportation Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP) grants and Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement (FRIIP) loans.
- Port Milwaukee – Port Milwaukee was awarded a FRPP grant of $2,993,920 to rehabilitate and construct more than 8,000 feet of track within the port. The project will enable the port to resume intermodal freight shipping, benefitting businesses throughout southeastern Wisconsin. The project will include 16,000 linear feet of new 115-lb. rail and 13 new turnouts in the Heavy Lift Dock and the West Classification Yard on Jones Island. The port will provide $748,480 in local matching funds.
- Quality Propane – Quality Propane, Chippewa Falls, was awarded a $600,000 FRIIP loan to install three 90,000-gallon propane tanks at its existing rail terminal. The rail terminal is served by the Wisconsin Northern Railroad. The total cost of the project is $961,237.
- Wisconsin Southern Railroad (WSOR) – WSOR was awarded FRPP grants totaling $11,563,232 and FRIPP loans worth $1,445,404 for six projects:
- Walworth County – Replace two bridges on the Fox Lake Subdivision
- Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties – Replace 7.5 miles of 90-lb. jointed rail with
115-lb. continuous welded rail (CWR) between Ripon and Pickett
- Winnebago County – Replace a bridge on the Oshkosh Subdivision with a culvert
- Rock and Walworth counties – Replace 15.2 miles of 90-lb. rail from Milton to Whitewater with 115-lb. CWR on the Waukesha Subdivision
- Milwaukee County – Rehabilitate the steel deck of a bridge on the Plymouth Subdivision
- Crawford County – Replace two bridges on the Prairie Subdivision
WSOR will provide $1,445,404 in matching funds for these projects.
The goal of Wisconsin’s Freight Railroad Assistance Program is to increase the use of rail transportation, improve transportation efficiency, and support economic development. Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP) grants cover up to 80 percent of project costs to help preserve freight rail service or rehabilitate track on publicly-supported rail lines. The state’s Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP) is a revolving loan program used to improve rail infrastructure and construct new rail-served facilities.
Since 1994, WisDOT has provided more than $132 million in FRIIP loans and $243 million in FRPP grants to help fund 187 infrastructure acquisition, rehabilitation and improvement projects.
Wisconsin’s rail system consists of 10 freight railroads, which operate more than 3,300 miles of track in the state. Each year, more than 200 million tons of cargo is moved by rail in Wisconsin.
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The contractor, Zignego Company, Inc., is expected to begin work on the first stages of this project the week of October 28, 2019.