Gov. Evers to allocate nearly $8 million to railroad improvement projects

Railroad crossing sign
Railroad crossing sign (WBAY file photo)(WBAY)
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:55 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced on Monday that nearly $8 million in grants and loans would go towards five statewide freight rail improvement projects, including one in Grant County.

The rail projects will lengthen rail spurs, install conveyance equipment and increase storage capacity at Wisconsin facilities.

“Wisconsin’s economy relies on a robust network of roads, ports, and railways, and investing in our state’s transportation infrastructure, including our freight rail network, is a positive investment for the future of industry, our economy, and our entire state,” Gov. Evers said. “This round of grants will bolster how the state’s agriculture and paper industries move products from point A to B, supporting industry growth and success across the state.”

Up to 80% of the funding are grants from the Freight Railroad Preservation Program that will preserve freight rail service or improve tracks on publicly owned rail lines. The remaining funding are loans from the state’s Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program, a loan program used to improve rail infrastructure and construct new rail-served facilities.

“The movement of products and commodities is the lifeblood of our economy, affecting nearly every aspect of our lives,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “Strategic investments that improve connectivity and efficiency of freight rail have a big impact on urban and rural communities all across the state.”

The grants and loans will go towards improvement projects in Grant, Kewaunee, Chippewa, Brown and Milwaukee County.