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The Wisconsin Department of Public Transportation (WisDOT) is soliciting public comments on the proposed Muskego Yard freight-rail bypass project, which is designed to improve rail infrastructure along the Canadian Pacific corridor in Milwaukee in preparation for a future Amtrak Hiawatha service expansion.
The $54.6 million project would improve rail operations and safety by creating a new double-track mainline through the corridor to increase yard capacity and efficiency; remove a majority of freight-rail traffic that currently runs through the Milwaukee Intermodal Station in the city's downtown; and remove rail traffic from several grade crossings in the downtown area, WisDOT officials said in a press release.
Comments are due Aug. 7. A project presentation may be viewed on the WisDOT Muskego Yard webpage or on YouTube.
Located in the Menomonee Valley south of Interstate-94 and east of I-94 and I-43, the Muskego Yard freight-rail bypass is one of the infrastructure projects needed to prepare the rail corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago for additional roundtrips on Amtrak's Hiawatha service.
The project will improve signal, track and bridges in the corridor. As a result, residents and Hiawatha riders will experience fewer delays and improved safety because freight-rail traffic will be routed onto grade-separated crossings, WisDOT officials said.
In March, the Federal Railroad Administration awarded WisDOT a $26.6 million grant under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program for the project. WisDOT and Amtrak will provide the remaining matching funds.