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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Wisconsin DOT issues grants, loans for eight freight-rail projects

Six Wisconsin & Southern Railroad projects will receive grants or loans.
Photo – Watco Cos. LLC


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) late last week announced it would provide more than $16 million in grants or loans to help fund eight freight-rail projects.

The grants will be provided through WisDOT’s Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP) while loans will be issued through the state’s Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP).

Watco Cos. LLC’s Wisconsin & Southern Railroad (WSOR) will receive FRPP grants totaling $11.57 million and FRIPP loans totaling $1.44 million for six projects. WSOR will provide $1.44 million in matching funds.

The work includes the replacement of 7.5 miles of 90-pound jointed rail with 115-pound continuous-welded rail (CWR) between Ripon and Pickett; replacement of 15.2 miles of 90-pound rail with 115-pound CWR between Milton and Whitewater; replacement of two bridges in WSOR’s Fox Lake Subdivision and two bridges in its Prairie Subdivision; replacement of a bridge with a culvert in the Oshkosh Subdivision; and the rehabilitation of a steel deck on a bridge in the Plymouth Subdivision.

Meanwhile, Port Milwaukee will receive a $3 million FRPP grant to rehabilitate and construct track. The work includes the installation of 16,000 linear feet of new 115-pound rail and 13 turnouts in the port’s heavy lift dock and west classification yard on Jones Island. The project will enable the port — which will provide $748,480 in local matching funds — to resume intermodal shipping, WisDOT officials said in a press release.

In addition, Quality Propane of Chippewa Falls will received a $600,000 FRIIP loan to install three 90,000-gallon propane tanks at its existing rail terminal, which is served by Progressive Rail Inc.’s Wisconsin Northern Railroad. The project is estimated to cost $961,237.

FRPP grants cover up to 80 percent of project costs to help preserve freight-rail service or rehabilitate track on publicly-supported rail lines. A revolving loan program, the FRIIP helps improve rail infrastructure and construct new rail-served facilities in the state, WisDOT officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/3/2018