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WisDOT TEA grants to support rail and road projects for Komatsu

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is providing a pair of grants worth $1.7 million in total to support the construction of rail improvements needed for Komatsu’s new headquarters in Milwaukee’s Harbor District.

The first grant is for the construction of a rail spur to provide access to the company’s new $300 million headquarters and manufacturing center, which is now under construction. The second will help pay for the reconstruction of a section of Kinnickinnick Avenue to let large trucks get to the company’s site.

“Transportation is vital to manufacturers like Komatsu, and to Wisconsin’s other important industry sectors,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement. “When we improve Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure, we help our state’s businesses be more competitive. That improves the economy and makes life better for all of us.”

The installation of the $2.4 million rail spur will connect the Komatsu site to the Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific railroads. A $1 million Transportation Economic Assistance grant from WisDOT is supporting that project. The work is expected to be completed this fall.

A separate $731,000 TEA grant is helping to pay for a $1.46 million road project to let trucks get to the Komatsu site. That project is expected to take place next year.

Komatsu broke ground last fall on its headquarters in Milwaukee’s Harbor District, a project that redeveloped a site that had been left vacant and contaminated from its former use as a manufactured gas plant. The company plans to have a visitor center, manufacturing complex and offices at the site, where 600 employees could work by 2023.

Hunzinger Construction is overseeing the Komatsu’s headquarters project.

In addition to the TEA grant, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has authorized the company to receive as much $59.5 million in state tax credits, which will be contingent on how much money the company spends and how many jobs it creates.

WisDOT’s TEA grant program awarded 11 projects $5.9 million in total assistance in 2020. The program supports infrastructure projects that are expected to provide economic benefits.

“We appreciate the partnerships that are moving these projects forward. They are examples of how strategic transportation investments can support job growth and strengthen our economy,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement. “It is great to see the progress at the Komatsu development, and the rail and roadway projects are a significant part of that.”

About Nate Beck, [email protected]

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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