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A project that will raise carload weight limits by rebuilding five bridges and improving a section of track recently won $6.8 million in competitive federal funding, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced yesterday.
The federal grant was issued through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grants program, WisDOT officials said in a press release.
The $11.3 million rail project in Janesville calls for improving a bridge over the Rock River and four bridges over roadways, as well as 0.6 miles of track. The infrastructure improvements will increase carload weight limits from 263,000 to 286,000 pounds.
Agricultural companies in the region supported the grant application, and environmental considerations were highlighted: On average, rail freight can move one ton of goods at four times the fuel efficiency of trucks, WisDOT officials said.
WisDOT’s funding partners for the project include the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad — which operates the publicly owned railroad system in southern Wisconsin — and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission, a 10-county authority that owns the track and bridges in Rock County.