Governor Walker announces $4.5 million freight rail grant award to WSOR

Release date: Nov. 3, 2017

Today, Governor Scott Walker announced a $4.5 million grant to Wisconsin & Southern Railroad (WSOR) for the reconstruction of bridge B-316 near Wauzeka in Crawford County.  WSOR will receive $4,517,840 in grant funds from the Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP) to cover 80 percent of the costs to entirely reconstruct bridge B-316 located near Wauzeka in a slough of the Wisconsin River. 

Existing bridge structure B-316 is an 82-span timber pile trestle, 1,107 feet in length. The replacement bridge will consist of 41 spans and be constructed primarily of steel piles and spans and concrete caps. 

WisDOT Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP) loan of $564,730 will also be provided to WSOR covering 10 percent of the $5,647,300 total project cost.  The remaining 10 percent, $564,730, will be provided by WSOR.  This project has been identified by engineering studies as necessary to improve the safety and operational efficiency of the Prairie du Chien to Madison rail line and reduce maintenance costs. 

Funding for this project was made available as a result of cost savings on the reconstruction of the Spring Green Bridge, due to the success of competitive bidding and low material prices. 

The Prairie du Chien to Madison rail line is owned by WisDOT and the Wisconsin River Rail Transit Commission.
The goal of Wisconsin’s Freight Railroad Assistance Program is to increase the use of rail transportation, improve transportation efficiency, and support economic development. Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP) grants cover up to 80 percent of project costs to help preserve freight rail service or rehabilitate track on publicly-owned rail lines. The state’s Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP) is a revolving loan program used to improve rail infrastructure and construct new rail-served facilities.

Since 1994, WisDOT has provided more than more than $129 million in FRIIP loans and $236 million in FRPP grants to help fund 176 infrastructure acquisition, rehabilitation and improvement projects statewide.

Wisconsin’s rail system consists of 10 freight railroads which operate more than 3,300 miles of track in the state. Each year, more than 200 million tons of cargo is moved by rail in Wisconsin.

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