Public Comment Being Sought on Wisconsin Project

Public comment is being sought by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on a project designed to enable expansion of Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service.

The project is a proposed freight rail bypass of Muskego Yard on Canadian Pacific.

Amtrak’s Hiawatha Service trains as well as the Chicago-Seattle/Portland Empire Builder use CP tracks through Wisconsin.

The bypass would improve the rail infrastructure in Milwaukee and cost an estimated $54.6 million project.

It would involve construction of a new double-track mainline through the corridor to increase yard capacity and efficiency.

CP freight traffic would no longer operate through the Milwaukee Intermodal Station in the city’s downtown.

Rail traffic would also be removed from several grade crossings in the downtown area.

The project will improve signals, track and bridges in the corridor and is expected to reduce delays for Amtrak because freight-rail traffic will be routed onto grade-separated crossings, WisDOT officials said.

Comments are due Aug. 7. A project presentation may be viewed on the WisDOT Muskego Yard webpage or on YouTube.

WisDOT has proposed increasing Hiawatha Service to 10 roundtrips a day.

The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded WisDOT a $26.6 million grant under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program for the project with the agency and Amtrak expected to provide matching funds.

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