Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials announced Friday that an $11.3 million rail project in Janesville has won federal support.
The project, which will raise weight limits by rebuilding five bridges and improving a section of track, will be the beneficiary of a $6.8 million federal grant. State officials applied for the money through the federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE, program. The project will increase the carload weight limit from from 263,000 to 286,000 pounds, providing a boon to local businesses.
“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 in a statement.
RAISE grants, of which 680 are awarded a year, draw nearly 10,000 applications. Agricultural companies in the region supported the grant application, which highlighted the environmental benefits of freight. Rail, on average, 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.