WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today announced that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has been awarded $3,000,000 by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to improve safety and security for Waukesha County communities along rail lines carrying crude oil. In October, Senator Baldwin wrote a letter to US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, in support of this critical investment.
“I have been sounding the alarm for two years on the need to put in place strong rail safety protections and am proud to announce this critical investment in Wisconsin’s rail infrastructure,” said Senator Baldwin. “Protecting our communities along Wisconsin’s railways remains my top priority as we’ve seen an increase of this volatile oil being carried throughout the Badger State.”
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Baldwin sent a letter in March with 20 other Senators calling on the committee to support robust investment for a Safe Transportation of Energy Products program to address increasing safety concerns related to the transportation of Bakken crude and other energy products. Today’s award was funded through that program.
DOT Grant Award Description:
The project will improve 11 grade crossings, including a pedestrian crossing, helping to ensure safety benefits across almost 10 miles. The Project is located in the north central portion of Waukesha County located just west of Milwaukee, the largest metropolitan area in Wisconsin. As a sealed corridor project, a combination of medians and exit gates will be constructed to enhance safety at the crossings along with providing reliable constant warning time circuitry. This line sees heavy freight traffic with significant quantities of energy products, as well as two Amtrak trains/day. This line is also a designated high speed rail line that could eventually see 14 trains/day operating at speeds up to110 mph. An average of 23 freight trains/day operate over this line carrying ethanol and crude oil, including 7-10 trains/week carrying Bakken crude.