WisDOT: Feedback sought on proposed Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass project

MUSKEGO -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is seeking public comment regarding the proposed Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass project. This project will improve rail operations through the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) railroad corridor in Milwaukee and prepares the corridor for future Amtrak Hiawatha Service expansion.

This project will improve rail operations and safety by:

    Comments invited

    The public is invited to view the narrated presentation on YouTube (https://youtu.be/WskiaPG5f6w) or visit the WisDOT webpage: WisconsinDOT.gov/MuskegoYard.

    A postcard notice was sent to property owners, businesses and residents in the corridor. Comments can be emailed to: Muskego.Yard@dot.wi.gov or mailed to Arun Rao, Passenger Rail Manager, WisDOT, PO Box 7913, Madison, WI 53707. The deadline to submit comments and questions is August 7, 2020.

    Project overview

    The Muskego Yard Freight Rail Bypass is one of the infrastructure projects needed to prepare the railroad corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago for additional round trips by the Amtrak Hiawatha Service. The Hiawatha is one of the busiest Amtrak routes in the nation and the busiest route in the Midwest. This service is critical to the economic growth in the region. In 2019, the Hiawatha set a ridership record with more than 880,000 passengers.

    The project is in the Menomonee Valley, south of I-94 and east of I-94 and I-43.

    The project will improve signal, tracks and bridges in the corridor. Residents and travelers will experience fewer delays and improved safety because freight rail traffic will be routed onto grade-separated crossings. This means less waiting for car, bus, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

    The project is estimated to cost approximately $54.6 million. In March, WisDOT was awarded a $26.6 million Federal Railroad Administration Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant. The remaining matching funds will be provided by WisDOT and Amtrak.