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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is providing nearly $15 million in grants and loans to support five freight rail projects statewide – projects worth an estimated $24.4 million, the agency said.

[Above photo by the Wisconsin DOT]

Those projects will enhance safety by replacing timber bridges, improving crossings, and allowing emergency vehicle access, the Wisconsin DOT noted.

“These freight rail projects are an investment in a critical part of Wisconsin’s supply chain,” explained Governor Tony Evers in a statement.

Gov. Tony Evers

“Modern and efficient freight rail makes our communities safer and our whole transportation infrastructure stronger,” he said. “This work will mean shorter routes for some emergency vehicles, higher weight limits for some trains, and a more modern rail for Wisconsin.”

“Strengthening bridges, creating new routes for emergency vehicles and updating crossings improves safety and the efficient movement of goods and services,” added Wisconsin DOT Secretary Craig Thompson.

Craig Thompson

“Wisconsin’s freight rail network is a critical part of our transportation infrastructure and these grants make strategic investments for our future,” he noted.

State departments of transportation across the country provide similar fiscal support for freight rail projects.

For example, in February, the New York State Department of Transportation provided $76.4 million to 38 projects aimed at renewing and modernizing New York’s freight rail infrastructure.

Additionally, in August 2021, the North Carolina Department of Transportation awarded 12 short line railroads and the North Carolina Ports Authority roughly $10.2 million in matching grant funds as part of its Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement program or FRRCSI, which supports rail infrastructure health, safety, and performance initiatives statewide.

editor@aashto.org

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