Madison to Milwaukee high speed rail project awarded $810 million - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Madison to Milwaukee high speed rail project awarded $810 million

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKOW) -- Wisconsin U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold confirm Wisconsin has been awarded $822 million dollars for high speed rail projects from the stimulus fund.

The Obama Administration set aside $8 billion for high speed rail projects.  Wisconsin is one of many states pushing for a piece of the funds.  Last year, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle traveled to Washington D.C. to campaign for the state, and in his State of the State address Tuesday night, Doyle hinted that good news may be on the way.

Kohl and Feingold say of the $822 million in federal stimulus funds awarded to Wisconsin, $810 million will be directed to the Madison-Milwaukee corridor and $12 million to the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor.

"It's great to see Wisconsin getting its fair share of these federal funds. The Secretary's decision speaks to the quality of our state's high-speed rail corridor project. I'm especially pleased by the promise it holds to create jobs and provide transportation choices for travelers across our state," Kohl said.

"This funding is good news for Wisconsin workers. Not only will this funding help create jobs improving our state's infrastructure, it will open up more job opportunities for workers in southern Wisconsin. This is an important investment in Wisconsin's economy and workforce," Feingold said.

According to the Department of Transportation, the $810 million in funds allocated to the Madison-Milwaukee project will be used for construction of track, passenger stations, signaling and other infrastructure improvements to extend the existing Amtrak Hiawatha service between Chicago and Milwaukee to Madison.

The $12 million in funds directed to the Milwaukee-Chicago project will be used for the installation of crossovers between Chicago and Milwaukee to improve on-time performance for the Amtrak Hiawatha and Empire Builder services, and for construction to extend the platform at the Milwaukee Airport Station, which will reduce travel times on the Amtrak Hiawatha and Empire Builder services by allowing trains longer than the current platform to board and deboard faster. 

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