Wisconsin gets $46.5m grant toward high speed rail

Wisconsin will be able to continue work on its high-speed rail program thanks to a $46.5 million boost in stimulus grants from the Department of Transportation. Under the terms of the grant, Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation will complete preliminary engineering, design work, program and environmental management. The high speed rail line will extend from Milwaukee to Madison.

Construction on the rail line is expected to begin this year, continue over the next 2.5 years and employ nearly 5,500 people. New rail cars will also be constructed in the state. Several rail infrastructure improvements will also be completed during this period for passenger rail service between Milwaukee and Madison.

Overall, Wisconsin will receive $823 million in stimulus funding for the project which will connect all of Wisconsin’s major business areas and improve service to Chicago. The state will also look at creating a route between Wisconsin and the Twin Cities as part of a larger rail plan to connect Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison with the Twin Cities.

“Because of the vision and investment of President Obama and Secretary LaHood, Watertown, Madison, Milwaukee and all of Wisconsin will see the tremendous economic benefits of high speed passenger rail,” Governor Doyle said. “In the next two and a half years, over 5,500 construction workers, engineers, machine operators and others will be working hard to make track improvements, build train stations, and improve the roads around these tracks. You are going to start seeing a lot of hard hats and neon vests around here and that is good news for everyone in this state.”

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