Janesville rail project to help business, efficiency wins federal funding

$6.8 million RAISE grant will build bridges, raise weight limits

Release date: November 19, 2021

A rail project in Janesville that will raise weight limits by rebuilding five bridges and improving a section of track won $6.8 million in competitive federal funding, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced today.

In the application WisDOT submitted for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant, the project promised to help area businesses by increasing the carload weight limit from 263,000 to 286,000 pounds.

“Thank you to Sen. Tammy Baldwin for her efforts on Wisconsin’s behalf and to the U.S. Department of Transportation for recognizing the importance of this project, which helps hundreds of Wisconsin businesses that rely on the efficient transportation of goods,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “The RAISE grants are very competitive every year, and we encourage and support applications throughout Wisconsin. In addition to the exciting rail project in Janesville, I also want to congratulate the success of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin for winning a $6.6 million RAISE grant to rebuild a multi-purpose transportation facility in northwest Wisconsin.”

RAISE grants are highly competitive, with 680 projects funded out of over 9,700 applications. Regional and local governments can directly compete for multimodal transportation funding. The grants have awarded nearly $9 billion to projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico since 2009.

The $11.3 million rail project in Janesville improves the bridge over the Rock River, four bridges over roadways and 0.6 miles of track. 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’s funding partners for this project include Wisconsin & Southern Railroad, the operator of the publicly-owned railroad system in southern Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission, a 10-county authority that owns the public railroad track and bridges in Rock County.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov